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Native American tribe bracing for Keystone pipeline leak impact

Author: Jorge Barrera, CBC News, Published on: 16 November 2017

TransCanada said in a statement Thursday 795,000 litres of oil leaked from an underground section of its Keystone pipeline near Amherst, S.D., about 64 kilometres west from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribal chairman David Flute said his community is concerned the leak, the largest by the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota to date, could pollute the area's aquifer and waterways...Keystone XL has faced stiff opposition from Nebraska landowners and Native American tribes.

Dallas Goldtooth, with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said..."It poses a risk to the Indigenous rights of tribal nations all along the route and it's a complete disregard for free prior and informed consent as guaranteed on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples...It puts at risk the drinking water of over 65,000 Indigenous peoples along the route." ... Brian Walsh,...with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said...the majority of the spilled crude remained underground...and there were no major waterways or residential wells in the immediate vicinity...

Flute said the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe ... have been concerned about the impacts of pollution...[saying] even green energy poses a risk in his territory..."In my reservation we are right directly in the middle of the Midwest migratory route...There is some concerns with the wind power that are going up, too."

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