Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

383,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Spill in North Dakota

Energy
"We are establishing air quality, water and wildlife monitoring and will continue monitoring throughout the response" to Tuesday's Keystone spill. TC Energy

By Jake Johnson

Environmentalists were outraged but not at all surprised to learn Thursday that the Keystone pipeline sprung yet another massive leak, this time spilling 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota.


"I wish I could say I was shocked, but a major spill from the Keystone pipeline is exactly what multiple experts predicted would happen," Greenpeace USA senior research specialist Tim Donaghy said in a statement. "In fact, this is the fourth significant spill from the Keystone pipeline in less than ten years of operation. History has shown us time and again that there is no safe way to transport fossil fuels, and pipelines are no exception."

As 350.org founder Bill McKibben tweeted in response to the leak, "It happens over and over and over and over and over."

The latest Keystone spill was first detected Tuesday night by TC Energy, the pipeline's owner, and the extent of the damage to the surrounding areas is not yet known to the public. According to Greenpeace, the leak "is already the eighth-largest pipeline oil spill of the last decade."

Brent Nelson, emergency manager for Walsh County, North Dakota, told the local Grand Forks Herald that the cleanup process could take months.

"The roads around the spill area have been closed to assist with the cleanup," the Herald reported. "Walsh County Sheriff Ronald Jurgens asks the public to avoid the area so the cleanup process can proceed. On-site security will stop and fine any driver ignoring the closed road signs."

TC Energy, previously known as TransCanada, denied that the spill had any impact on drinking water, a claim that was met with skepticism.

Catherine Collentine, associate director of Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels initiative, said "this is not the first time this pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands, and it won't be the last."

"We've always said it's not a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but when," said Collentine, "and once again TC Energy has made our case for us."

Keystone's leak in North Dakota was detected just hours after the U.S. State Department held a public hearing in Billings, Montana to solicit comments on the department's new analysis of the potential environmental impact of the Keystone XL project.

The Trump administration has worked hard to approve and accelerate the project over the protests and legal challenges of indigenous rights organizations and green groups.

Joye Braun, frontline community organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the State Department meeting on Keystone XL "seemed more like an industry showcase rather than public comment hearing."

"We stand firm in opposing this project as the latest spill is further evidence of just how dangerous pipelines are," said Braun.

Reposted with permission from our media partner Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A bushfire burns outside the Perth Cricket Stadium in Perth, Australia on Dec. 13, 2019. PETER PARKS / AFP via Getty Images

By Albert Van Dijk, Luigi Renzullo, Marta Yebra and Shoshana Rapley

2019 was the year Australians confronted the fact that a healthy environment is more than just a pretty waterfall in a national park; a nice extra we can do without. We do not survive without air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow food and weather we can cope with.

Read More Show Less

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Protesters face off against security during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Read More Show Less
Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has bowed to the advice of public health experts and extended social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus till at least April 30.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less