Image: AP Photo/David Goldman

The key concern of protesters at Standing Rock has been and remains the environmental hazard posed by Energy Transfer Partners’ 1,200-mile pipeline, which would have the potential to taint local water supplies and destroy sacred grounds. Confirming those exact fears, a pipeline in North Dakota has spilled some 176,000 gallons of crude into a creek 150 miles north of the protest encampments.

CNBC reported the spill poured unrefined petroleum into the Ash Coulee Creek for several hours. Electronic monitoring systems in the Belle Fourche pipeline failed for unknown reasons. Although a shutdown contained further leakage, those 176,000 gallons spread six miles into the surrounding area. The spill was discovered by an unnamed individual in Belfield, ND on December 5th but the actual date of the spill is unknown.

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Seems like those people who have been camped out in the freezing cold and sprayed with firehoses—and the Army Corps of Engineers who are moving to block the completion of the pipeline’s construction through Standing Rock—might have a point, huh?

[CNBC]