Keystone Pipeline Leaks Thousands of Gallons of Oil Into S. Dakota

TransCanada denies any significant threats to the environment or public health
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 12:48 PM CDT
Keystone Pipeline Leaks Thousands of Gallons of Oil Into S. Dakota
A sign marking the location of the TransCanada Keystone underground oil pipeline in Missouri.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Keystone pipeline sprung a leak Saturday, and TransCanada was slightly off in its original estimate of how much oil spilled into Hutchinson County, South Dakota—by about 9,000% or so. CNN reports the oil company originally estimated that only about 187 gallons had spilled. On Thursday, it updated that estimate to about 16,800 gallons after excavating more than 100 feet of pipe, News 10 ABC reports. While TransCanada has yet to find the source of the leak, it says it's been "controlled" by shutting off a section of the pipeline. CNN quotes TransCanada as stating it hasn't "observed significant impacts to the environment" from the leak. The company claims the leak poses no threat to public health, UPI reports.

The affected section of the Keystone pipeline will remain closed until early next week while workers search for the leak. While less oil will be entering the US market from Canada for the time being, analysts say consumers won't be affected as there is currently more than enough oil available. Last November, President Obama vetoed an extension of the Keystone pipeline known as Keystone XL at least partly due to environmental concerns. TransCanada is currently challenging that veto in federal court. CNN quotes the executive director of the Sierra Club as saying the current leak in South Dakota "is a stark reminder that it's not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when." (More oil leak stories.)

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