By the end of Sunday, @TransCanada officials might have a better idea about what caused the Keystone Pipeline’s 210,000-gallon #oilleak in #MarshallCounty.https://t.co/YyefwL3nlt pic.twitter.com/8UpAc4BR6E— Erin Ballard (@eballard_aan) November 26, 2017
Proponents of oil pipelines tout the jobs such projects provide, and after three significant spills in South and North Dakota within ten years, the Keystone pipeline is living up to its potential.
The Capital Times of Pierre, South Dakota, reports in Keystone pipeline clean-up crew gets Thanksgiving meal from TransCanada:
. . . There are about 170 people on-site working on cleanup and remediation around the clock in 12-hour shifts. Thanksgiving meals were served for the day shift and for the overnight crew.
TransCanada spokeswoman Jacquelynn Benson says the meal provided a short but important holiday break for the workers.
The estimated 210,000-gallon leak on the Keystone Pipeline was discovered last week. TransCanada said it had recovered more than 44,000 gallons of oil as of Thursday. The cause of the leak is still being investigated. . . .
Such altruism warms the cockles of our heart, but the Canadian corporation could have done more. A Sisseton-Wahpeton tribal elder observes to Bluestem that TransCanada missed one of the biggest Thanksgiving public relations opportunities since 1621 by not inviting the Indians on the nearby Lake Traverse Reservation to break bread with the emergency workers.
Closer to home, the Aberdeen American's Erin Ballard reports in Work to unearth leaking TransCanada pipe should finish Sunday:
By the end of Sunday, TransCanada officials might have a better idea about what caused the Keystone Pipeline’s 210,000-gallon oil leak in Marshall County.
Work to expose and extract the damaged section of the pipe began Thursday and is expected to be completed Sunday, said Doris Kaufmann Woodcock, a senior communications advisor with TransCanada.
The leak was discovered Nov. 16. Since then, crews and heavy machinery have been in the Amherst area for the cleanup, which is expected to take weeks.
As of Saturday evening, TransCanada had recovered 44,730 gallons from the spill site, Kaufmann Woodcock said. . . .
Bluestem hopes TransCanada keeps a watchful eye on the remaining 165,270 gallons of oil, since we do share an aquifer with our neighbors to the west. Christmas is approaching and that's one stocking stuffer we don't need.
On a more serious note, the editorial board of the Aberdeen American raises some strong points in Our Voice: Pipeline cleanup underway, but what's next?:
The Keystone pipeline oil leak in Amherst was bad.
Very bad. And it is time for fixes and stronger assurances that another 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of crude oil will not spill onto or into farmland, habitat, sacred land or water supplies.
. . .We should be wary of a multi-national company managing South Dakota services and land. That’s what’s happening in Marshall County now, as TransCanada, the owner of the pipeline, taps local resources to manage and control access to the spill site.
We also need to be wary of casual attitudes about serious problems.
In an online interview with TransCanada, local resident Don Tisher said: “It’s a pipe. You have leaks in your house. So why wouldn’t the pipeline leak at somewhere, some point or other? But they’ll fix it.”
Sure, TransCanada will fix the line. But shouldn’t we expect better?
The Keystone Pipeline has been in use for only seven years. And the leak near Amherst is the third in that time between southern North Dakota to southern South Dakota:
• Nov. 16: 210,000 gallons in Marshall County.
• April 2, 2016: 16,800 gallons in Hutchinson County.
• May 7, 2011: 21,000 gallons at a Sargent County pump station in North Dakota. . . .
Read the entire opinion at the paper.
Photo: A tweet by Erin Ballard at the Aberdeen American. Check out the gallery of photos at the paper.
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