Keystone operator says oil pipeline leak controlled, no threat to public

A day after a Keystone Pipeline leak spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota, the pipeline operator says the incident is "controlled" and there is no risk to public safety.

TransCanada Corp. said in a statement Friday that "we take this incident very seriously and are working with federal and state regulatory agencies," and has over 75 people working on the response to the leak, which was reported Thursday, in a sparsely populated area of Marshall County, near Amherst in the northeastern part of the state. 

A South Dakota Native American tribe said that the leak shows that a planned pipeline extension that will be voted on by Nebraska officials this week is not safe. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier says the extension, called Keystone XL, will be within three miles of the tribe's reservation.

RELATED: Here's an in-depth look at the Keystone Pipeline:

14 PHOTOS
Keystone XL Pipeline project
See Gallery
Keystone XL Pipeline project
A sixty-foot section of pipe is lowered into a trench during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Gulf Coast Project, a 485-mile crude oil pipeline being constructed by TransCanada Corp., is part of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Nederland, Texas. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013. TransCanada Corp on Thursday said it would move ahead with a $12 billion oil pipeline to ship Western Canada's oil sands crude to refiners on its east coast and beyond, scaling up the project as its U.S.-bound Keystone XL line stalls in Washington. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo
Shayne Walker, a weld inspector, fills out paperwork during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Gulf Coast Project, a 485-mile crude oil pipeline being constructed by TransCanada Corp., is part of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Nederland, Texas. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS - SEPT12: The Valero refinery works glow in the dusk light in Port Arthur, Texas. The state of Texas has placed a historical plaque noting that this area is near where the oil boom started in 1901. Port Arthur, Texas is the end of the line for oil that would travel through the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota, January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
BUTTE, NEBRASKA - JULY 04: The Keystone XL pipeline at one point was going to run through the sensitive Sand Hills areas of Nebraska west of Butte, Nebraska. The pipeline has been rerouted and now skirts the Sand Hills, but still goes under the Niobrara River area pictured here.(Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
VALENTINE, NEBRASKA - JULY 04: The Keystone XL pipeline at one point was going to run through the sensitive Sand Hills areas of Nebraska in the vicinity of Valentine, Nebraska. The pipeline has been rerouted to the east and now avoids the sensitive the Sand Hills, so it will not pass through this area at the Minnechaduza Creek. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
North Dakota rancher Bob Banderet stands in front of the Keystone pumping station that dumped 500-barrels of tar sands crude on the North Dakota prairie outside of the small town of Cogswell. Bandaret witnessed the spill from his nearby farmhouse and alerted authorities, even before TransCanada was aware of the break. From Oil and Water: Following the route of the Keystone XL pipeline through the USA. (Photo by Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS - SEPT12: The Valero refinery looms on the horizon in Port Arthur Texas. Port Arthur, Texas is the end of the line for oil that would travel through the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
PORT ARTHUR, TEXAS - SEPT12: Maintenance work is constant at the Valero refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Port Arthur, Texas is the end of the line for oil that would travel through the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Equipment sits near a section of pipeline during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Atoka, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Gulf Coast Project, a 485-mile crude oil pipeline being constructed by TransCanada Corp., is part of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and will run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Nederland, Texas. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

 

"When the Trump administration says, this pipeline is safe, it is lying. When TransCanada says the safety of the public and the environment is its top priority, it is lying," Frazier said in a statement. "They are lying to the Indian people, which is no surprise. But they are lying to the rest of America too."

President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL project in 2015 over its potential impact on the environment. But President Donald Trump revived the project, saying construction would bring new jobs and lower energy costs among other benefits.

TransCanada said Thursday that it detected a drop in pressure overnight and safely shut off the stretches of pipeline within 15 minutes at about 6 a.m. (7 a.m. ET). It estimated the leak at 5,000 barrels, or about 210,000 gallons.

The Keystone Pipeline system runs from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. Another arm goes to Patoka, Illinois. The Keystone XL extension would go through parts of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the environmental groups who oppose it, says the XL pipeline is designed to transport tar sands oil which it called the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.

The company said the pipeline was shut off from Hardisty in Alberta to Cushing, Oklahoma, and to Wood River and Patoka in Illinois. The southern leg of the system, which stretches to the Houston and Port Arthur areas in Texas, remained open.

Thursday's leak is about 12 times the size of the last major leak on a Keystone line, in April 2016 in Hutchinson County, South Dakota. According to federal records, that leak, which was eventually blamed on a "weld anomaly," was initially reported at 4½ barrels, or 187 gallons. But five days later, it was revised to 400 barrels, or 16,800 gallons.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.