TransCanada's Keystone pipeline shut after 5000-barrel leak in US

TransCanada's Keystone pipeline shut after 5000-barrel leak in US

Crews are working to clean up an oil spill from the Keystone Pipeline in northeast South Dakota on Thursday.

TransCanada has indicated that the pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta, to Cushing, Okla., and to Wood River/Patoka, Ill., is expected to remain shut down.

According to a press release from TransCanada, which operates the controversial pipeline, the section of pipeline was "completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response procedures were activated". It was detected about 6 a.m. Thursday by TransCanada and reported to state officials more than four hours later, said Brian Walsh, a manager with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

TransCanada Corp. says its Keystone pipeline has leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. The Keystone XL pipeline has been opposed by environmental and Native American groups since it was proposed a year ago.

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The same pipeline leaked about 17,000 gallons a year ago near Freeman, South Dakota.

While details are still emerging around this spill, we know it occurred in Marshall County on South Dakota's northern border. Moreover, in the years since TransCanada first proposed Keystone XL, a National Academy of Science study concluded that tar sands spills are much more damaging to the environment and hard to clean.

President Donald Trump issued a federal permit for the project in March even though it had been rejected by the Obama administration.

The Keystone pipeline is part of a 2,687-mile system that also is to include the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Nebraska regulators plan to announce their decision next week.

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