South Dakota farmer Galen Heckenlaible, on whose land TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline spilled 17,000 gallons of oil in 2016. (Image: KSFY)

Thirteen months ago, a welding issue led to a leak in TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline in South Dakota. Nearly 17,000 gallons of oil spilled on a family farm between Menno and Freeman.

KSFY: “Do you think the $12,000 (easement payment from TransCanada) was worth it?”

“No. I’d never do it again,” said South Dakota farmer Galen Heckenlaible, whose land was devastated by the spill. Heckenlaible says the allure of a big pay day can sway people to allow pipelines to cross their property and now he is making it his mission to share his story.

“I really didn’t want to sign it [the easement contract with TransCanada], what’s on it, but to get along with everybody else, the neighborhood, I wasn’t going to be different,” Heckenlaible told KSFY.

“You look at the amount of money and it’s like whoa that’s a good deal. And the thing that was stressed, I mean we [TransCanada] aren’t never going to be back here. There will never be any problems. Well, look what happened here,” he told KSFY. TransCanada considers the leak in South Dakota small, but Heckenlaible doesn’t see it that way.

And he says if it leaked here… “It can happen anyplace and it has happened other places.”

ACTION: Submit a comment with your concerns about Keystone XL to the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

(Image: KSFY)