Keystone 1 pipeline springs a leak. No surprise – pipelines leak.
A leak was detected Saturday in the 30-inch Keystone I pipeline. Calgary-based owner TransCanada shut the pipeline down and sent a clean-up crew to carry out remediation work. So far, there’s been no estimate of how much oil was spilled.
While flow from the pipeline has been stopped from the tar sands depot in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, to Wood River, Illinois, and from Steele City, Nebraska, to Cushing, Oklahoma, the 36-inch Gulf Coast line, the southern segment of the Keystone XL. which runs from Cushing to Nederland, Texas, is still in operation. An application to build the northern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline was rejected by President Obama in November.
Caroline Lalley reports from the Rapid City Argus Leader:
Brian Walsh of the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources visited the site on Sunday. The DENR is responsible for monitoring the cleanup and insuring the company follows state laws and procedures during the process.
“They will be expected to remove any soil that’s been contaminated and any groundwater that’s contaminated,” Walsh said. […]
The leak is the fifth in South Dakota for Keystone I, which was approved in by the Public Utilities Commission in 2008. The DENR’s spill map shows three releases of petroleum in 2010 and one in 2011. One spill in 2010 took place at the same pump station, with a release of less than five gallons because of a fitting leak.
TransCanada officials said: “No significant impact to the environment has been observed and our investigation continues.”
A spokeswoman for Dakota Rural Action, a grassroots organization focused on family agriculture and conservation, issued a statement of complaint about the lag-time in TransCanada’s notification of authorities after the leak was detected.
Dakota Rural Action opposes the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP), an 1,168-mile conduit through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois to connect the Bakken shale formation to a giant tank farm in Patoka, Illinois. The Bakken shale is source of about 1.1 million barrels of fracked oil a day.
The project has drawn considerable opposition. On Friday, some 200 people from several of the region’s Lakota (Sioux) tribes rode horseback in protest of the DAP. Their concern is that the pipeline could leak onto lands sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux, including burial grounds, and contaminate the Missouri River just a few feet from the tribe’s reservation.
“Because we are going to be fighting this giant, all the rest of the nations came on horseback to say ‘we support you’,” said [Ladonna] Allard. “That is why this horse ride is so important to us. Because we’re not alone in this fight. All of our nations are coming to stand with us, and all our allies and partners. This pipeline is illegal.”
The pipeline is currently waiting on a decision from a colonel in the army corps of engineers, who oversees such projects, on whether Dakota Access will be granted a permit to proceed, according to Dallas Goldtooth, a Keep It In The Ground campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. The tribes are petitioning for an environmental impact study, which has not at this point been done, into the pipeline.
Lakota and other Indians have been in the forefront of climate action and opposition to pipelines, including the Keystone XL.
One of those opponents is Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. Iron Eyes, 38, was on Sunday unanimously endorsed by delegates of the Democratic-NPL Party for his candidacy for Congress. He’ll be running for the seat now held by Republican Kevin Kramer.
“I got into this to defeat (Republican U.S. Rep.) Kevin Cramer because I think I have the grassroots appeal that we desperately need,” Iron Eyes said after delegates nominated him by unanimous ballot.
Taking aim at the opposition, Iron Eyes said Republicans have taken credit for the economic wealth brought by the state’s oil boom but not for the negative impacts. He said water, energy and food security is national security and “we have to value all of those things in tandem.”
“This is our identity, North Dakota: The land and rivers … that’s who we are, and we need to make sure that we do prosperity responsibly,” he said.
(Originally appeared at DailyKos.)