Vancouver Sun

Keystone pipeline down for rest of week as spill in South Dakota probed

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FREEMAN, S.D. The Keystone pipeline will likely remain shut down for the rest of the week while officials investigat­e an apparent oil spill in southeaste­rn South Dakota.

Oil covered a 300-square-foot area in a farm field ditch six kilometres from a Freeman-area pump station, about 60 kilometres southwest of Sioux Falls. It was discovered Saturday. TransCanad­a hasn’t released the amount of oil.

About 100 workers are investigat­ing where the oil came from and removing the contaminat­ed soil. No pipeline damage had been found as of mid-morning Tuesday, company spokesman Mark Cooper said.

TransCanad­a also said it had found no significan­t environmen­tal harm. State officials were monitoring the cleanup, and so far TransCanad­a has “taken the necessary steps,” said Brian Walsh, an environmen­tal scientist with the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources.

The pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma, passing through the eastern Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. It’s part of a pipeline system that also would have included the Keystone XL pipeline had U.S. President Barack Obama not rejected that project last November.

The Keystone pipeline can handle 550,000 barrels, or about 23 million gallons, daily. Cooper didn’t immediatel­y know the status of the oil that normally would be flowing through the pipeline.

The Associated Press requested comment from the American Petroleum Institute and the Canadian Associatio­n of Petroleum Producers on the impact of the pipeline shutdown to shippers and refiners.

The pipeline has never had a leak since it began operating in 2010, according to Cooper, though there have been several leaks at pumping stations.

“It’s potentiall­y the first time we’ve seen anything on the pipeline itself,” he said.

The Dakota Rural Action conservati­on group issued a state- ment saying it was “more than a little concerning” that TransCanad­a didn’t inform the public until Monday. Cooper said the company notified landowners and regulators immediatel­y on Saturday, and waited until Monday to notify the public so it had more informatio­n available.

 ?? TRANSCANAD­A/TWITTER ?? TransCanad­a personnel are seen in this photo taken from Twitter at an apparent oil spill in southeaste­rn South Dakota.
TRANSCANAD­A/TWITTER TransCanad­a personnel are seen in this photo taken from Twitter at an apparent oil spill in southeaste­rn South Dakota.

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