DAPL’s First Leak, Minnesota’s Own Pipeline Problem

File photo.

Well, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) isn’t fully operational yet, but it had its first spill, 84 gallons of crude oil near one of its pump stations, according a story in The Guardian. It might not seem like a lot, but think what it would look like to take the hose off a gas station pump and hold the handle down so that it spilled enough gas to fill about eight sedans. (But in this case we’re talking crude oil.)

And this is when the line is brand new!

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the Texas-based company building DAPL, has other troubles out east. In a rush to finish its Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio, Indian Country Today reports that ETP “spilled about two million of gallons of drilling materials in two separate accidents into two of Ohio’s few remaining wetlands.”

“Energy Transfer Partners has dumped millions of gallons of a milkshake-like substance into pristine wetlands,” said Jenn Miller, director of the Sierra Club of Ohio. “This will have massive impacts on the plant, fish and amphibian species there.”

One-third of Ohio’s endangered species rely on wetlands for habitat and survival, Miller said.

Click on the story link to see a photo of how bad the spill is.

Meanwhile, resistance to such projects continues. Indian Country Today reports on a unique alliance of Nebraska tribes, ranchers, and landowners that are resisting Keystone XL and other fossil fuel developments. Keystone XL will pass through traditional Ponca lands, lands that were taken from them. They still consider these ancestral lands as part of their culture and traditions.

On April 29, members of the Ponca Tribe began a remembrance walk to commemorate their forced removal from their traditional lands in the 1870s, the story said. The planned 12-day walk covered the 273 miles from Niobrara, Nebraska, to Barneston.

“Knowing how painful it was to have that land taken away from us, we can empathize with those farmers that own that land today. We know what it’s like to be told somebody’s going to take your property away,” said Larry Wright, Ponca Tribal Chairman of Nebraska. …

For the past three years, members of … various groups have been gathering in Neligh, Nebraska, to plant Ponca sacred corn where the pipeline’s route crosses the trail the tribe was forced to take away from their homeland. They sow the corn by hand, following principles of prayer rooted in a deep respect for the land.

Minnesota, you are next up in the efforts to stop pipelines from threatening our signature lakes and rivers. Enbridge, a energy transportation company, is proposing to abandon an old and failing tar sands pipeline through northern Minnesota and wants to install a new and larger pipeline, including a significant route change. The 337-mile pipeline, called Enbridge Line 3,  would pass through the Mississippi headwaters region and through traditional Anishinaabe wild rice areas.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is expected to release a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Tuesday, May 16. The EIS should draw media attention and elevate the public debate over this project. There is expected to be a 60-day public comment period.  More information coming soon on how to get involved. For more background, see the Enbridge Line 3 Page of our blog.

Today: Local Protest Against DAPL; Major Diesel Pipeline Spill in Iowa

Protest marches are scheduled today against President Trump’s efforts to push through approvals for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and revive the Keystone XL Pipeline.

One march will start in Saint Paul, meeting at Cretin and Marshall avenues. The other march will start in Minneapolis at 47th Avenue South and Lake st. Meet at either site at 3:30 p.m. They will both march to and converge at the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue bridge. Bring signs and banners. This is a nonviolent protest. It will start with prayer, followed by speeches by community leaders and youth. Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli dancers will speak and dance. There will be an open mic and closing prayer.

The event is being organized by youth and MN 350. Here is the Facebook page.

Iowa Diesel Pipeline Spill

In related news MPR is reporting today on a pipeline spill in Iowa: ‘It’s a big one’: Iowa pipeline leaks nearly 140,000 gallons of diesel. The leak occurred in a 12-inch underground pipeline. (For comparison, the DAPL would be a 30-inch pipe carrying crude oil.) Because the pipelines are under pressure, once a leak starts, it leaks fast.

The MPR story said the pipeline, owned by Magellan Midstream Partners, “runs through Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as a transport route for multiple refined oil products, ‘including Diesel, Gasoline, Jet fuel, Natural gasoline, Naptha, Propane, Natural Gas, Butane.'”

More than a foot of snow has fallen since Monday in some parts of north-central Iowa. As of Wednesday afternoon, cleanup crews had sucked up “about 25,000 gallons of diesel and a slush-diesel mixture,” reported the Globe Gazette newspaper in Mason City, Iowa.


Breaking: Pipeline Spill Within 150 Miles of Standing Rock Only Reinforces Fears

CNBC is reporting the following this afternoon: Pipeline spills 176,000 gallons of crude into creek about 150 miles from Dakota Access protest camp:

A pipeline leak has spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek roughly two and a half hours from Cannon Ball, where protesters are camped out in opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline. …

North Dakota officials estimate more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the Belle Fourche Pipeline into the Ash Coulee Creek. State environmental scientist Bill Suess says a landowner discovered the spill on Dec. 5 near the city of Belfield, which is roughly 150 miles from the epicenter of the Dakota Access pipeline protest camps.

More articles follow: CityLab;s “30 Years of Oil Spills” and MPR’s “In their own words: The ‘water protectors’ of Standing Rock.” Continue reading