pipeline spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil Thursday, November 16 in South Dakota.
TransCanada, the multibillion dollar energy company currently fighting
to build a new pipeline route through landowners’ property in Nebraska,
released a statement announcing that approximately 5,000 barrels of oil
leaked out of their pipeline in Marshall County.
According to the company, the spill,
"was completely isolated within 15 minutes and emergency response
procedures were activated."
According to South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources
official Brian Walsh, the leak was discovered at about 10 in the morning.
If TransCanada is allowed to build their new pipeline along its preferred
route, it would pass directly over the Ogallala Aquifer, a shallow water
table aquifer that provides approximately 30 percent of the ground water
used in irrigation in the United States, and an estimated 82 percent of
the water the 2.3 million people living in the High Plains drink.
If 200,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Ogallala Aquifer, it could cause
catastrophic damage and affect millions of Americans, as well as farmers’
ability to effectively irrigate their crops, which could affect the entire country.
“If this spill had happened along the proposed route in Nebraska,
it would be absolutely devastating,” said Brian Jorde, who is representing
Nebraska landowners opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. “Their
proposed route is within a mile of thousands of water wells.”