Keystone Pipeline Shut Down After Leak Into Washington County Stream on Wednesday

by Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner
December 8, 2022

LINCOLN β€” Canadian pipeline company TC Energy shut down its Keystone Pipeline on Wednesday after an oil leak was detected about 8 p.m.

The leak released oil into a creek in Washington County, Kan., about 20 miles south of a pipeline terminal at Steele City, Neb.

The company, in a press statement, said an emergency shutdown was done after a pressure drop was detected in the pipeline, which traverses eastern Nebraska and delivers oil from Alberta’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast and in southern Illinois.

There was no immediate word on how much oil was leaked. TC Energy said containment booms were deployed to control downstream migration of the release.

As of Thursday morning, the system remained shut down as crews worked to contain and recover the oil.

β€œWe are proceeding to make appropriate notifications, including to our customers and regulators and will work cooperatively with third parties to effectively respond to this incident,” the company said.

The Keystone pipeline segment across Nebraska has been operating since 2010.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a larger, 36-inch pipeline project by TC Energy, sparked a controversy pitting environmentalists, who argued that the tar sand oil would increase climate warming, against energy interests, who maintained it made sense to get energy from a friendly neighbor.

Then President Barack Obama denied a permit for the XL project in 2015, but it was resurrected by President Donald Trump when he took over in the White House in 2017.

President Joe Biden, shortly after he took office in 2021, reversed course, and TC Energy eventually abandoned the project after approximately 8% of the project, from Alberta to Steele City, had been built.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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