Keystone XL Pipeline Spills Hundreds of Thousands of Gallons of Tar Sands Oil

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Keystone XL Pipeline Spills Hundreds of Thousands of Gallons of Tar Sands Oil

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:23
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Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hits Another Snag (shannonpatrick17 / CC BY 2.0)
Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Hits Another Snag (shannonpatrick17 / CC BY 2.0)

The subterranean Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline has burst again spilling more than 400 000 gallons of heavy crude oil near the tiny community of Edinburg northwest of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The spill has impacted a wetland area, according to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality.

State Environmental Quality Chief Dave Glatt told The Associated Press that regulators were notified late Tuesday night of the leak. Glatt said pipeline owner TC Energy shut down the pipeline after the leak was detected. The cause of the spill is under investigation.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company formerly known as TransCanada did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment Wednesday.

State regulators estimated the physical size of the spill to be 1500 ft. long and 15 ft. wide. Ground water sources have not be affected, according to Glatt.

Crude oil began flowing through the $5.2 billion pipeline in 2010. It is part of a system that also is to include the proposed $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline designed to transport the oil from western Canada to terminals on the Gulf Coast.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. State Department held the sole public meeting on a new environmental review of the long-stalled proposal. A federal judge blocked it last year, saying more study was needed.

The original Keystone is designed to carry crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Illinois, and Cushing, Oklahoma. It has experienced problems with spills in the past, including one in 2011 of more than 14,000 gallons of oil in southeastern North Dakota, near the South Dakota border.

In 2017, the pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil onto agricultural land in northeastern South Dakota, in a rural area near the North Dakota border.

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