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An Oil Spill in Kansas Has Shut Down the Keystone Pipeline

According to Canada-based TC Energy, an estimated 14,000 barrels spilled into a creek.

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TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline facilities are seen in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline facilities are seen in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.
Photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press (AP)

An oil spill in northern Kansas has shut down a major pipeline that transports crude oil from Canada to Texas.

Thousand of barrels of oil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline into Mill Creek on Wednesday night. Canada-based TC Energy, which operates the pipeline, isolated that section of the Keystone system after the company saw that the pipeline’s pressure had dropped, the Associated Press reported. The company estimated that the spill has released 14,000 barrels of oil into the surrounding environment.

“We have contained downstream migration of the release. The system remains shutdown as our crews actively respond and work to contain and recover the oil,” a TC Energy statement said. “Our primary focus right now is the health and safety of onsite staff and personnel, the surrounding community, and mitigating risk to the environment.”

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The statement did not say what exactly caused the recent leak but claimed the company is conducting “around-the-clock air monitoring” in the surrounding area of the spill, the AP reports.

The surface water at Mill Creek has been affected by the spill, but “there are no known impacts to drinking water wells or the public,” a statement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. The EPA is overseeing TC Energy’s cleanup response. Randy Hubbard, the Washington County Emergency Management coordinator, told the Associated Press that there are no evacuation orders because the spill occurred in a rural area.

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This is not the first time the Keystone Pipeline system has spewed toxic oil into the environment. In October 2019, it leaked more than 380,000 gallons of crude oil in Edinburg, North Dakota. And in November 2017, the very same pipeline spilled about 210,000 gallons of crude oil in Amherst, South Dakota. This particular spill was caused by a crack in the pipe that originated from the pipeline’s construction.