‘Pipelines spill and leak’

My monthly reminder that we still take seriously the construction of these pipelines. :

Two barrels, or 84 gallons, spilled due to a leaky flange at a pipeline terminal in Watford City on March 3, according to the state’s Health Department. A flange is the section connecting two sections of pipeline. Oil flow was immediately cut off and the spill was contained on site. Contaminated snow and soil was removed.


The pipeline leaked 84 gallons of oil in South Dakota on April 4. That spill at a rural pump station also was quickly cleaned up and didn’t threaten any waterways. The state’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources posted a report in its online database but didn’t otherwise notify the public. Its policy is to not issue news releases on spills unless there is a threat to public health or water.

Tribal leaders and attorneys say the leaks bolster their demands for further environmental review of the pipeline.

“We have always said it is not a matter of it, but when,” tribal attorney Jan Hasselman said after the South Dakota leak. “Pipelines spill and leak. It’s just a fact.”

One hundred-seventy gallons of oil doesn’t major, not when compared to, say, the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But context, context. Last December, the Belle Fourche pipeline spill dumped almost two hundred thousand gallons of the awful stuff into a creek. Every time North Dakotans have been lucky: no threat to water or arable land for now. All it takes is one systemic failure to turn Fargo into Flint, and I’m not sure what the answer when Congress and the president’s views are no different from Scott Pruitt’s — you know, the filing clerk for the fossil fuel industry.

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