Keystone Pipeline creates havoc

By Samantha Bartholomew

The Keystone Pipeline leak earlier this month resulted in significantly more spillage than the company estimated was likely, according to a new report.

The incident, which spewed over 200,000 gallons of oil into fields near Amherst, South Dakota, was one of three substantial leaks in the pipeline since operations began, according to Reuters.

The others took place in South Dakota in 2016 and North Dakota in 2011, each expelling around 400 barrels of oil.

Risk assessments, which were submitted to regulators before the start of the project in 2010,  estimated that a leak of more than 50 barrels of oil would not occur more than once every seven to 11 years.

Where the two South Dakota spills took place, no more than one spill was predicted once every 41 years, according to TransCanada Corp. documents.

The spill took place days before regulators in neighboring Nebraska lifted the last major regulatory hurdle for the expansion that has been delayed for years by environmental opposition.

President Donald Trump handed TransCanada a presidential permit for Keystone XL in March, reversing former President Barack Obama’s decision to reject the line on economic and environmental grounds, saying that it would create jobs and boost national security.

As of Nov. 26, 44,000 gallons of oil have been recovered from the Amherst site and monitoring air and local well water revealed no significant concerns

While cleanup continues, the company resumed operation of the Keystone pipeline Nov. 28.