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Keystone Oil Spill Is Worse Than Experts Once Thought

The spill was first reported on October 29 and has affected almost 10x the amount of land than what state regulators initially said.

An October oil leak from the Keystone Pipeline in North Dakota caused more damage than previously thought. 

The spill was first reported on October 29 and has affected almost 10x the amount of land than what state regulators initially said. Pipeline owners TC Energy & North Dakota’s Department of Environmental Quality originally said an estimated 2,500 square yards were affected. 

Nearly a month later, upon further assessment, they changed that figure to 23,232 square yards. TC Energy estimated at least 383,000 gallons of oil leaked, with some seeping into the surrounding wetlands. However, the company told the public that no oil seeped into drinking sources. 

The pipeline was reopened on November 10, and cleanup continued into the affected area. A North Dakota environmental scientist told the Associated Press that the initial assessment was “a quick and dirty look at it.” 

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline, largely opposed by surrounding Indigenous Native communities, would be part of this system if approved. 

Investigators have not yet determined a cause of the October 29 leak. 
 

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