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Keystone I Pipeline Spill Numbers Increased

For Immediate Release  
April 7th, 2016

Contacts:
Dallas Goldtooth, 708-515-6158, dallas@ienearth.org
Sabrina King, 801-671-8372, sabrina@dakotarural.org

IEN-DRAFreeman, SD –  On Saturday, April 2nd, TransCanada announced that an oil leak was detected by a South Dakota landowner on its Keystone I pipeline. The foreign corporation initially stated that only 4.5 barrels, approximately 187 gallons, of oil appeared to have spilled. Those numbers have now changed. TransCanada estimates that about 16,800 gallons of oil has now leaked from the Keystone pipeline into a field in South Dakota.

This estimate has been reported to the National Response Centre and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, as required by law. Keystone I was commissioned in 2010 with reassurances to the concerned public that it had a number of advanced leak detection technologies.  In its first year, however, the pipeline leaked 35 times in the United and Canada with one major leak that spilled 21,000 gallons of oil near a wheat field in North Dakota.

The spill near Freeman, SD is now among the largest in South Dakota history for a pipeline. Cleanup crews are on-site, as well as regulators from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and state regulators.

The following are statements from The Indigenous Environmental Network and Dakota Rural Action:

Statement by Indigenous Environmental Network Campaign Organizer, Dallas Goldtooth:
“This spill is heart-breaking. This is exactly the reason why we fought so hard against the Keystone XL pipeline and why we continue to fight against new pipeline projects, such as the Dakota Access. Our waters, lands, and communities cannot continue to be the sacrifice zones for Big Oil’s game for more money. We pray for the land and waters surrounding this spill site, and we hope that our elected leaders understand the safest way we can prevent such accidents is for us to Keep Fossil Fuels In The Ground.”

Statement by Dakota Rural Action:

“We continue to be dismayed by the problems coming to light as this disaster unfolds. That Keystone I could spill over 400 barrels of tar sands crude without being detected by TransCanada should give regulators serious pause about the company’s ability to safely operate this pipeline. South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers should know they can maintain their family operations without threat of bursting pipelines and oil spills. Our land and water are too valuable for pipelines. We will keep fighting Keystone XL and Dakota Access to prevent more of this kind of disaster from happening in the future.”

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