Keystone Oil spill won't affect Nebraska pipeline ruling

Keystone Oil spill won't affect Nebraska pipeline ruling

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The Latest on a pipeline still that leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in rural South Dakota (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Nebraska state officials say an oil spill from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota won't affect their decision to approve or deny a route for the related Keystone XL project.

A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Public Service Commission said Friday that commissioners will base their decision solely on evidence presented during public hearings and from official public comments.

Supporters and opponents of the project argued their cases to the commission at a four-day hearing in August.

A Nebraska law approved in 2011 prevents the commissioners from factoring pipeline safety or the possibility of leaks into their decisions. Lawmakers argued at the time that pipeline safety was a federal responsibility that pre-empts state law. Opponents say oil interests lobbied for the restriction.

9:40 a.m.

A federal pipeline safety agency has sent technical experts to the site of an estimated 210,000-gallon oil spill from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota.

A Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration representative said Friday that the agency's investigation is ongoing.

TransCanada Corp. crews shut down its Keystone pipeline Thursday after a drop in pressure was detected from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County.

State officials say the buried pipeline leak is on agricultural land and don't believe it has polluted any surface water bodies or drinking water systems.

The pipeline delivers oil from Canada to refineries in Illinois and Oklahoma. The leak was found just days before Nebraska regulators are to announce whether they approve an expansion of the Keystone system

TransCanada says it expects the pipeline to remain shut down as the company responds to the leak.

12:10 a.m.

The Keystone pipeline has leaked 210,000 gallons of oil in rural South Dakota but officials don't believe it has polluted water.

The pipeline operator, TransCanada Corp., says it has shut down the system and the state has sent an inspector to the site near the border with North Dakota.

According to U.S. government data, there have been 17 oil leaks in the U.S. larger than the new spill since 2010.

But it comes just four days before Nebraska regulators are due to announce their final decision on whether a major expansion of the pipeline system, called Keystone XL, can pass through the state. The expansion has been fiercely opposed by environmental activists, American Indian tribes and some landowners.

President Donald Trump has approved a permit for the expansion.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.