Dakota Access pipeline leaked 84 gallons of oil in April

The closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp near Cannon Ball N.D. Thursday Feb. 23 2017

The closed Dakota Access pipeline protest camp near Cannon Ball N.D. Thursday Feb. 23 2017

The $3.8bn oil pipeline, which sparked global protests previous year and is not yet fully operational, spilled 84 gallons of crude oil at a South Dakota pump station, according to government regulators.

Two barrels, or 84 gallons, of oil spilled within a containment area that has about 6 inches of gravel on top of a non-permeable liner covering the ground, said Vicki Granado, a spokeswoman for developer Energy Transfer Partners.

Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist with the Groundwater Quality Program in the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the spill was not major and it occurred at the surge pump.

No other spills have been reported along the pipeline in South Dakota, according to Walsh.

"They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won't happen, that nothing can go wrong", said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has been fighting the project for years.

"The fact that this occurred before Dakota Access even becomes operational is all the more concerning", said organizer Dallas Goldtooth.

Energy Transfer Partners did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

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"This is what we have said all along: oil pipelines leak and spill", Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement about the incident.

A spokesperson for ETP told the Associated Press that the pipeline is safe and the leak was contained in the proper manner.

The leak was 100 miles east of the Missouri River.

"At the pipeline's pump station there's what's called a surge tank, which is used to store crude oil occasionally during the regular operation of the pipeline", Walsh said in a phone interview with the Dakota Media Group Tuesday. This was the pipeline's first spill in the state, he said.

In December 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delayed construction of the pipeline to explore potential alternative routes.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Tribes continue the ongoing case against the pipeline and stand committed to taking every legal action possible to stop the flow of oil through the treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin, also known as the Great Sioux Nation. A federal spill report database does not show any reports from Energy Transfer Partners or its subsidiary Dakota Access LLC in any of the other states through which the pipeline passes.

Granado said the line-fill process should be finished within the next few weeks and the pipeline should be in service by June 1.

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