(TMU) — A pipeline carrying tar sands oil into the United States from Canada has reportedly leaked an unknown amount of oil across North Dakota. The pipeline’s owner, TC Energy—formerly known as TransCanada—shut down the pipeline as a result of the leak.
“TC Energy immediately began the process to shut down the pipeline, activated its emergency response procedures and dispatched ground technicians to assess the situation,” the company said.
According to State Environmental Quality Chief Dave Glatt, regulators were notified of the crude oil leak near the town of Edinburg in northeastern North Dakota late on Tuesday after detecting a drop in pressure. The oil was reportedly leaked over an area that regulators have estimated to be about 1,500 feet long by 15 feet wide as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company is working to contain the spill, the cause of which is currently under investigation. Area roads are closed as the clean-up and investigation continues.
According to Glatt, area drinking water was not affected by the spill though some wetlands were affected.
It is unclear when the leak began and for low long it has been leaking.
At a cost of $5.2 billion, the 590,000-barrel-per-day Keystone pipeline, which began pumping crude oil in 2010, is part of a 2,687-mile system that would include the Keystone XL pipeline, if approved.
Just yesterday, tribal officer Kip Spotted Eagle told a South Dakota state panel that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline should not be allowed to divert water from three rives in South Dakota. The Yankton Sioux Tribe historic preservation officer said the proposed pipeline project could infringe on tribes’ hunting and fishing.
The $8 billion project is seeking permits to use water from the Cheyenne, White, and Bad rivers in South Dakota. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has recommended the board grant the permits.
Civil liberties organizations and activists are pushing back against new laws which criminalize protests and free speech related to pipeline projects. In late March, a coalition of Native activists, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the ACLU of South Dakota filed suit against the State of South Dakota in an effort to repeal recently passed state laws aimed at curbing “rioters” during the upcoming construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline. South Dakota Senate Bill 189 and SB 190 have created controversy due to the potential to prevent peaceful and legal protest of environmental projects.
TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) existing Keystone pipeline has leaked substantially more oil, and more often, in the United States than indicated in risk assessments the company provided to regulators before the project began operating in 2010, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.
TransCanada Corp. says the company has sent additional crews and equipment to the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill in South Dakota from its Keystone pipeline.
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