Dakota Access pipeline leaks 84 gallons of oil in SD

Dakota Access pipeline leaks 84 gallons of oil in SD
© Greg Nash

South Dakota officials are looking into a small leak along the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline that spilled 84 gallons of oil.

A pump connecting the pipeline to a crude oil storage tank in rural South Dakota leaked the oil sometime in April, Dakota Media Group reported Wednesday.

The oil was captured by absorbent material at the site and put back into the pipeline, officials said. The state won’t fine the pipeline’s operator because the spill was reported and properly cleaned up.  

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A spokesperson for developer Energy Transfer Partners told Dakota Media Group that the malfunction occurred during the process of filling the pipeline with oil. 

That line-fill process should be completed by June 1, when the 1,170-mile pipeline is due to enter into service.

Energy Transfer Partners did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The spill — which was limited to Energy Transfer Partners’ workspace at the storage site — is a minuscule amount of oil compared to other spills. It’s also the first spill associated with Dakota Access in South Dakota, according to the report. 

But it comes at a time when the Dakota Access pipeline is under intense scruitiny from tribes and environmentalists, who have fought to prevent it from entering service.  

The 1,170-mile pipeline is designed to deliver up to 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day between North Dakota and oil facilities in Illinois. Tribes near the pipeline route have said a spill puts drinking water supplies at risk. 

Environmentalists took up the cause last year and launched nationwide protests against the pipeline. The Obama administration moved to effectively pause the construction process for a critical stretch of the pipeline, but President Trump reversed that decision and allowed the project to move forward.