13:18 GMT30 March 2020
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    The Keystone oil spill disaster has exposed the fact that US regulators failed to conduct a proper environmental impact assessment before approving the construction of the pipeline, Center for Biological Diversity Senior Attorney Jared Margolis told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the Keystone pipeline leaked at least 210,000 gallons of oil into grass and agricultural fields in the US state of South Dakota before crews managed to shut it down, TransCanada said in a statement.

    "The [US President Donald] Trump Administration should take note of this disaster, and federal regulators should concede that they did not sufficiently analyze the adverse environmental impacts that Keystone XL would cause," Center for Biological Diversity Senior Attorney Jared Margolis said.

    Margolis said the incident is the inevitable result of a failed system, "which puts profit over public good."

    The Nebraska Public Service Commission is expected to vote Monday on whether to issue a route permit for the Keystone XL pipeline to go through the state and this week's spill should be factored in, he added.

    "This [incident] should certainly be considered with regards to the Keystone XL pipeline," Margolis said. "The state should take into account the horrible track record that TransCanada has regarding pipeline leaks."

    The Keystone pipeline has spilled at least 14 times since its first year of operation, Margolis said. Thursday's incident should work as a "wake-up call" for federal regulators to take the risk of oil pipeline projects seriously, he added.

    In March, the US State Department issued a permit for TransCanada to construct the 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline immediately after President Donald Trump approved the pipeline deal. President Barack Obama had previously blocked the project. It is the last section of the entire Keystone system.

    The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier said in a statement on Friday the tribe condemns the Keystone pipeline oil spill and that it is evidence that these projects are harmful to the environment.

    "Your government is lying to your face, endangering your future, and doing it to make a few wealthy people wealthier still," Frazier said. "The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe condemns this spill, this pipeline, the KXL, the DAPL, and all pipelines that threaten our Grandmother Earth."    


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