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Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Keystone pipeline leaks more than 200K gallons of oil

Keystone pipeline leaks more than 200K gallons of oil

Crews are working to clean up a pipeline leak that has spilled at least 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.

This is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, Walsh said.

The leak occurred just days before the Nebraska Public Service Commission was due to announce a decision on Keystone XL, a 830,000-barrel expansion through the state, that has stirred a lot of controversy.

Among other concerns, opponents of Keystone XL say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region in Nebraska of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don't want it.

According to USA government data, there have been 17 oil leaks in the US larger than the new spill since 2010. Federal regulators said an "anomaly" on a weld on the pipeline was to blame. "It will be a few days until they can excavate and get in borings to see if there is groundwater contamination". There have been no reports of the oil entering any waterways or water systems at this time.

Environmentalists said it was more proof an extension to the pipeline - Keystone XL - should not go ahead, calling it a "thumbs-up to likely spills in the future". The spill has been controlled, the company said, with no further environmental impacts observed and no threat to public safety.

"There's some states where the big issue is climate change, but Nebraska, the issue has been those local land-use impacts, and so I'm sure the commissioners will have that in mind", said Coleman.

6, 2015, file photo shows a sign for TransCanada's Keystone pipeline facilities in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. "What we do know is that there is visible oil on the surface, but it is not a large area".

Crews, including TransCanada specialists from emergency management, engineering, environmental management and safety as well as contracted, nationally recognized experts are assessing the situation.

The cause of the leak is yet to be determined.

"We want to find out, was there a crack in the pipe?" "For Keystone to get built, it needs two things: permits and money".

After President Obama vetoed the project on the grounds that it did not represent an economic necessity for the time being, his successor Donald Trump signed the go-ahead for the pipeline nearly the moment he entered the Oval Office.

According to a statement by TransCanada, "The estimated volume of the leak is approximately 5,000 barrels".

Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the state has sent a staff member to the site of the leak in a rural area near the border with North Dakota about 250 miles (402 kilometers) west of Minneapolis. Another came in April when about 84 gallons of crude oil leaked from the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in Spink County. Amherst is about 200 miles north of Sioux Falls and about 25 miles from the state's border with North Dakota. Clashes with police at the protests turned violent at times, with one woman almost losing her arm after an explosion last November.

Opposition to the pipeline sparked monthslong protests, with as many as 10,000 people participating during the peak of the demonstrations.

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