Keystone XL resumes service following major spill


Tyler Chalfant | November 12th, 2019

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline resumed services over the weekend less than two weeks after an oil spill near Edinburgh, North Dakota. Approximately 383,000 gallons of oil spilled into a wetland. This is the pipeline’s second large oil spill two years, after another major leak affected South Dakota in 2017.

A further expansion of the TransCanada Energy pipeline was blocked by a federal judge last year after being approved by the Trump administration. The leak doesn’t appear to pose an immediate threat to public health, according to the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, but opponents of the expansion claim that these spills provide further evidence that the pipeline is not safe. 

The pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, first opened in 2010, meaning the sections in which these spills occurred are still fairly new. The 2017 spill was found to be likely rooted in a crack that had formed during the pipeline’s construction. Causes of this spill are still under investigation.

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