Rupture of 138,600 gallons is not a major disaster but environmental advocates say it highlights their fears about the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects
Just a day after Donald Trump signed executive orders to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects, a pipeline rupture spilled 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel in northern Iowa.
Magellan Midstream Partners, an Oklahoma company with more than 10,000 miles of oil and ammonium pipeline, acknowledged that the spill began Wednesday morning in Worth County, Iowa, and said it was unsure of the cause of the incident at this time.
The oil has pooled in an agricultural field, according to Karen Grimes of the Iowa department of natural resources (DNR), but cleanup efforts are being somewhat impacted by heavy winds and snow.
The spill does not appear to threaten any waterways and has not caused any injuries or evacuations, according to the company and the DNR.
While the spill in Iowa is not a major disaster compared to other spills, said Greenpeace researcher Jesse Coleman, it does draw attention to the risks of pipelines.
Proponents of oil pipelines argue that it is a safer method of transporting fuel than trains. More than 7m gallons of oil were spilled in more than 1,000 pipeline leaks between 2010 and 2015, according to an analysis by High Country News.
This really speaks to the central problem, which is that were not even surprised that this company spilled something out of a pipeline because its inevitable, Coleman said. Thats whats really frightening about these larger pipelines.
You can never really rehabilitate an area that got soaked in gasoline. Even this spill, it cant be cleaned up, Coleman added. That gives you some idea of what will happen when the Dakota Access pipeline or the Keystone XL pipeline fails. Its irreversible.