Keystone pipeline owner says recovery of spilled oil into Kansas creek is complete

by Paul Hammel, Kansas Reflector
May 15, 2023

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Canadian pipeline company says it has completed the recovery of oil spilled into a Kansas creek following a record leak on the Keystone Pipeline.

TC Energy, in a news release Thursday, said it continues to restore the shoreline of Mill Creek as well as adjacent areas affected when the high-pressure, 36-inch pipeline sprang a leak in December, releasing more than 500,000 gallons of crude oil.

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It was the largest oil pipeline spill in the U.S. in nine years and the largest leak on the 12-year-old Keystone pipeline.

The pipeline leak was just across the Nebraska border near Washington, Kansas.

The company said it expects to continue its work at the spill site until the third quarter of the year.

TC Energy said it employed “sophisticated recovery and water filtration techniques” to collect the oil.

The work was done under the oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The company has said that a flaw in a weld combined with “inadvertent bending stresses” on an elbow fitting during installation in 2011, combined with the high pressures employed to transport the oil, eventually led to the pipeline failure.

Environmental groups have said the Keystone should be shut down because of its design flaws and that it’s only a matter of time before there’s another leak.

This story was produced by Nebraska Examiner, an affiliate of States Newsroom.

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

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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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