TransCanada Keystone pipeline leaks 795000 litres of crude oil in South Dakota

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The same pipeline leaked about 17,000 gallons a year ago near Freeman, South Dakota.

Crews are working to clean up a pipeline leak that has spilled at least 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.

The leak is under investigation, the company says.

The shutdown was made at 6 a.m. after a drop in pressure was detected in its operating system. It runs from Hardesty, Alberta, to Cushing, Okla., and Wood River/Patoka, Ill.

Opponents of Keystone XL say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don't want it.

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But as NPR's Jeff Brady reports, the spill comes at a sensitive time for TranCanada. The project has received needed approvals in states between Alberta, Canada, and Nebraska. "Some landowners are concerned about how an oil spill might harm their property and water supplies".

Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Kelly Martin said Thursday that the only way to protect Nebraska communities is to "to say no to Keystone XL".

"I have full confidence that the Nebraska Public Service Commission is going to side with Nebraskans, not a foreign oil company", she added.

The leak, which it said happened about 35 kilometres south of its Ludden pump station on a right-of-way, comes as Nebraska Public Service Commission is set to vote on the Keystone XL project on November 20 to clear the last major regulatory hurdle for the $8 billion project. TransCanada is providing State and Federal regulators, including the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the National Response Center (NRC), with accurate and confirmed information on an ongoing basis.

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