Friday, 16 November, 2018

Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it's fully operational

Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it's fully operational Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it's fully operational
Orlando Vargas | 17 May, 2017, 12:57

An Energy Transfer Partners official says the spill happened while pipeline was being commissioned.

Activists opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) seized upon a small oil spill near the multi-state project Wednesday to support their belief that the line will poison water.

Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice's lead attorney on the case, said there are now no scheduled hearings or deadlines for a judgement on their motion for summary judgement, and he doubts that a ruling will come before the pipeline's scheduled operational debut on June 1.

"Our lawsuit challenging this risky project is ongoing, and it's more important than ever for the court to step in and halt additional accidents before they happen - not just for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our resources but for the 17 million people whose drinking water is at risk", he said in a statement.

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has protested the construction of the pipeline through its lands about 200 miles to the north, renewed his calls for the pipeline to be shut down.

"From a legal perspective, the start of operations doesn't really mean much", Hasselman told ThinkProgress "If the permits were issued illegally, then they have to be vacated".

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The pipeline is meant to transport almost half a million barrels of oil per day under a large lake, across the Missouri River and through other sensitive ecological habitats.

Actually, Walsh said the leak didn't come as a surprise to him because such incidents have happened with other pipelines in the state.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has been protesting the pipeline since April 2016, has repeatedly warned that a big leak would be catastrophic for the water supply of millions of people.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, tribal attorneys are pressing for further environmental studies of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline.

The nearly $4 billion pipeline will carry crude oil almost 1,200 miles from western North Dakota to IL. "We treated this 84-gallon spill just as we would treat any other 84-gallon spill that occurs in our state". "This occurred within our work space during our commissioning activities at that site and was reported to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, per the required regulations". Those wetlands, an Ohio EPA spokesman told ThinkProgress earlier this week, won't recover for decades.

Hasselman said that while the company has argued that using state-of-the-art techniques like horizontal drilling would make the Dakota Access Pipeline less likely to leak, the company's recent spills throw that claim into question. "It's just what happens". "And here we are".

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