TransCanada says spill clean up underway in South Dakota as pipeline vote looms

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CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. says work is well underway to clean up a sizeable oil leak on its Keystone pipeline in South Dakota that occurred days before a vote on the fate of the company’s flagship pipeline proposal.

The company says about 75 crew members, as well as State and Federal officials, are on site near Amherst, S.D., with a full complement of clean-up equipment to contain the 795,000-litre spill in a farmer’s field.

TransCanada says it has observed no further environmental impacts and no threat to public safety, though the nearby Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation has expressed concern the spill might contaminate water supplies.

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The spill comes four days before Nebraska is set to vote on whether TransCanada can go ahead with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, but state officials have said the spill won’t affect their decision.

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

Environmentalists have pointed to the spill as evidence of the dangers of oil pipelines as they push to stop more from being built.

Shares of TransCanada (TSX:TRP) were down 1.30 per cent in early afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as the energy sector rose half a percentage point.


The Canadian Press

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