Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

383,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Spill in North Dakota

Energy
383,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Spill in North Dakota
"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.

David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less