Pipeline leaks oil in South Dakota


Last year, thousands of people participated in the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline, in North Dakota. Protesters feared that the pipe would break, and leak oil into tribal territory. This Thursday, 210,000 gallons of oil leaked into South Dakota from the Keystone Pipeline.

This leak comes days before a decision to finalize permits needed to begin construction on Keystone XL, a sister pipeline to the Keystone Pipeline.

Even though, livestock and drinking water sources were not threatened, Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources told The New York Times “…this is not a little spill from any perspective.”

According to TransCanada, The Keystone Pipeline system stretches from Alberta, Canada, to Manitoba, Canada. The pipeline then travels south into Texas, in hope to make transporting crude oil from Canada easier. Smaller sections of the pipeline would cut into Oklahoma and Illinois.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, would travel from Alberta to Nebraska, and cut through parts of Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Illinois.

The leak is near Lake Traverse Reservation, but is not on Sioux property, said Dave Flute, tribal chairman for Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.

In a statement, Flute said: “We are monitoring the situation as this leak is adjacent to our reservation…We do not know the impact this has on our environment at this time but we are aware of the leak.”

According to CNN, this is the largest Keystone oil spill to date in South Dakota, and the third this year.

Major articles from NPR, The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times circulated social media, after people took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the leak. Many cited the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and urged officials to think before approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.