Keystone Pipeline Shut Down After Major Leak, Gov. Calls For Immediate Action

A portion of the Keystone Pipeline has been shut down after more than 380,000 gallons of oil leaked in North Dakota.

USA Today reports pipeline owner TC Energy said the leak amounted to an estimated 9,120 barrels of oil which were spilled near Edinburg, North Dakota.

Karl Rockeman, director of North Dakota’s Division of Water Quality, reportedly said drinking water sources were not affected by the leak. The leak did, however, damage vegetation and soil in the area.

“At this time, we don’t see any impact to public health,” Rockeman said to USA Today. He said, “there should be no disruption and no reason for any special precautions” for those living near the affected region.

In response, Fox News reports Republican North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum urged TC Energy to “review its pipeline inspection and monitoring programs.”

Burgum also said he “received assurances” that TC Energy would “clean up and remediate the site as thoroughly and quickly as possible.”

State Environmental Quality Chief Dave Glatt said: “The company has the spill contained and nothing is moving off-site.”

According to the Fox News report, the cause of the spill is not yet known:

Workers are also expected to dig up a portion of the $5.2 billion underground pipeline within the next few days to inspect it, as the cause of the spill is still unknown.

The pipeline, which opened in 2011 to transport crude oil across Saskatchewan and Manitoba and through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri on the way to refineries in Patoka, Ill., and Cushing, Okla., can handle about 23 million gallons a day.

Here’s more, from USA Today:

The spill comes amid the debate over Keystone XL pipeline, a proposal initially rejected in 2015 by the Obama administration but approved two years later by the Trump administration. The pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, through Nebraska and ultimately to refineries in Texas.   A judge will soon decide whether Trump had the authority to issue an executive order approving the $8 billion project.

“This is exactly the kind of spill we are worried about when it comes to Keystone XL being built,” Joye Braun, an Indigenous Environmental Network frontline community organizer, told CNN Wire. “It has never been ‘if’ a pipeline breaks but rather ‘when’.”

President Trump has yet to comment on the spill, despite being an advocate for the pipeline and signing its construction into law as one of his first acts as president.