Jane Kleeb, 402-705-3622,
Art Tanderup, 402-278-0942,
Paul Blackburn, 612-599-5568,

Landowners, Experts React to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Spill

Foreign company orders “no-fly” zone over spill site; underestimates spilled oil volume by tens of thousands of gallons

Lincoln — Bold Nebraska is currently monitoring the spill on TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline that was first observed and reported by a landowner on Saturday, April 2, but not reported by the company to the public until Monday — two days later.

“It is appalling that TransCanada’s state-of-the-art leak detection system failed,” said Art Tanderup, a Nebraska farmer whose land was on the Keystone XL pipeline route. “The soil has been ruined, wells and aquifers threatened, and the health and livelihood of the area residents has been compromised. I shudder at the thought of this happening on our farm if the proposed KXL were to be built. With our porous soil, this kind of leak would seriously contaminate the Ogallala Aquifer. Once it is contaminated, it cannot be cleaned up.”

“TransCanada lied to us. We were told the pipeline would never leak, don’t worry about it,” said South Dakota landowner Mike Sibson, whose land lies near a pipeline pump station. “When we heard about the spill on Monday and went down to look, my stomach fell out. I thought, ‘What if that happened on my property?’ I’d be devastated. It made me feel terrible knowing that threat is at my back door; it made that threat real, knowing it can and will happen. I have land a mile south of a pipeline pump station, where there is a higher probability for a leak.”

“Tarsands is a unique risk to farmland and water. Roughly 30% of the contents of the pipeline is chemicals like benzene, and we have yet to see any water or soil tests,” said Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb. “Landowners have reported truckloads of contaminated soil being transported off the site and yet we still have no confirmation of the leak source. We call on Gov. Ricketts and the PSC to conduct a pipeline integrity review on the Keystone 1 segment than runs through the eastern part of our state.”

“The fact that the Keystone Pipeline has sprung another leak is disturbing,” said Paul Blackburn, the author of a 2010 report on the manufacturing of defective pipe steel. “It suggests that TransCanada’s quality control systems failed to detect a defective pipe segment or defective weld.”

“It’s not surprising that somebody driving by discovered the leak before TransCanada,” Blackburn added. “TransCanada’s leak detection system simply cannot quickly detect leaks amounting to hundreds of barrels. Usually people smell a leak before the computers can.”

View Bold Nebraska’s Keystone pipeline spill timeline:

# # #