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9,000 Oil Barrels Leaked from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline


As leading eminent domain lawyers in Nebraska, our team at Domina Law Group has been closely involved in litigation over the controversial TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline. Recently, the Keystone Pipeline demonstrated its potential for destruction yet again, with the news that over 9,000 oil barrels leaked into the North Dakota wetlands on Tuesday, October 29th.

To put that amount into perspective, 9,000 oil barrels is equivalent to 383,000 gallons of oil – enough to fill half of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The leak took place in northeastern North Dakota near the town of Edinburg, where it was fully contained by emergency personnel as of Thursday. Sources indicate that the spill missed drinking water supplies, but researchers will still need to perform an environmental impact study to be certain.

The Dangers of Toxic Tar Sands Oil

Although this particular oil spill hasn’t hurt North Dakota or Nebraska residents yet, this is far from the first dangerous spill at the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline. In 2017, more than 200,000 oil gallons leaked near the small town of Amherst in South Dakota.

For more than 10 years, TransCanada (now known as TC Energy) has been lobbying to expand the current pipeline system with the Keystone XL, which would span from Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada into at least 8 states scattered across the American Midwest. Rejected by past presidential administrations, the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline was finally approved in 2017 by the Trump administration. It is projected to begin construction in 2020.

Aside from fears about government overreach, the use of toxic tar sands sludge is another major factor in the controversy surrounding the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline. Tar sands sludge is uniquely detrimental to the environment, as was shown with the $1 billion cleanup efforts for the Enbridge tar sands pipeline in Kalamazoo.

As Sierra Club director Catherine Collentine shared in the NBC News article: “We don’t yet know the extent of the damage from this latest tar sands spills, but we do know that this is not the first time this pipeline has spilled toxic tar sands.”

Continuing Struggles Over Eminent Domain

Even though construction for the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline has been approved for next year, TC Energy must still obtain the legal right to use farmlands and private properties along the path of this $8 billion crude oil pipeline. To accomplish this, the company has tried to claim eminent domain and seize private property from landowners. 

Of course, many Nebraskans and North Dakotans want to remain on their land and avoid the health risks of a massive interstate oil pipeline. But as of September 2019, landowners have already started to receive notices from TC Energy about upcoming eminent domain lawsuits.

What Can I Do to Fight an Eminent Domain Claim?

If TC Energy is attempting to take your land under eminent domain, you must hold your ground and refuse to sign any of your rights away. While you may not be able to prevent the ultimate seizure of your land, you are still entitled to fair compensation. TC Energy and its associates will do everything in their power to intimidate you and prevent you from getting a fair deal. 

At Domina Law Group we’re committed to helping you protect your rights as a property owner. With decades of experience and intimate knowledge about this project, we can help you stand up to TC Energy and explore all the legal options. You deserve a strong advocate and an ally throughout this process, particularly when lives are endangered by TC Energy’s actions.

Call (888) 387-4134 today to speak with our experienced eminent domain attorneys in Nebraska. We are ready to fight for your rights.

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