It is now being reported that TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline has leaked over 200,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota.

Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated.

Officials don’t believe the leak affected any surface water bodies or threatened any drinking water systems, said Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which has dispatched a staff member to the site.

“Ultimately, the cleanup responsibility lies with TransCanada, and they’ll have to clean it up in compliance with our state regulations,” Walsh said.

Before the eco-activist hysteria sets in, I would like to point out that pipeline transport of materials has fewer incidents, but the releases can be larger.  To put this spill in perspective, it is wise to consider the amount that has been released from other pipelines that already exist:

Nearly 9 million gallons of crude oil have spilled from pipelines in the United States since 2010.

That’s enough oil to fill a square pool 10 feet deep and 950 feet wide. It’s 2.15 million more gallons than are in the Reflection Pool at the Lincoln Memorial in DC.

As Bajak writes, the 1,300 crude oil spills since 2010 amounts to one every other day.

The spillage in this incident impacted neither the area’s surface waters or populated areas, as the flow occurred on agricultural lands.

Furthermore, the cause of this particular spill is unknown. But it is wise to consider that pipelines have been the target of eco-activist sabotage….as in the case of an incident that occurred this past September.

Police are investigating a new incident of pipeline sabotage in which an activist poured corrosive material into sections of pipe destined for a crude oil pipeline in southern Ontario.

The sabotage is the just latest attempt to protest oil infrastructure through vandalism, although it is one of the more aggressive — and potentially dangerous — actions.

An anonymous poster is taking credit for drilling holes and pouring corrosive material into sections of stored pipe meant for Enbridge’s Line 10 pipeline. Currently under construction, the project involves expanding 35 kilometres of the line, installed in 1962, allowing it to carry up to 74,000 barrels of oil per day.

Finally, I think the trained spill response crews will be able to recover scene faster than the teams who had to respond to the Dakota Pipeline protestor pollution.

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