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Keystone Pipeline Spills 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota

Author: Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today, Published on: 17 November 2017

Keystone Pipeline Company TransCanada responds publicly to oil leak in South Dakota: The ‘safety of the public and environment are our top priorities’... On Thursday November 15th, 2017, approximately 210,000 gallons or 5,000 barrels of oil spilled from the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline in a northeast part of South Dakota.

The spill in Amherst, S.D. happened a few days before regulators in Nebraska were to decide whether to grant a final permit to begin construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline in that state. According to a statement from TransCanada, “[C]rews safely shut down its Keystone pipeline at approximately 6 a.m. CST... after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system resulting from an oil leak that is under investigation... Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources... no livestock or drinking water sources appeared to be threatened,,, [and] that the leak of 210,000 gallons was not substantial and that the area was rural, which is “very positive.”

John Dossett, who serves as General Counsel at the National Congress of the American Indians [said]... “The bottom line is that pipeline spills are inevitable, it is not a question of if but when. Where lands or waters are affected by a federal decision, the trust duty requires that the government must protect tribal interests. Tribes are not opposed to development, they often welcome it. But this most recent spill underscores the need for tribal rights to be fully considered and protected by the federal trustee.”

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