Five Spills, Six Months In Operation: The Dakota Access Track Record Highlights An Unavoidable Reality — Pipelines Leak

Representatives from Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, traveled to Cambridge, Iowa, in October to present a series of $20,000 checks to emergency management departments in six counties.
One of the counties had pledged to use its check to purchase “HazMat operations and decontamination training/supplies.” Less than a month later, in Cambridge, the Iowa section of the Dakota Access pipeline would experience its first spill.
According to the standards of most state environmental agencies, it was a small spill that wouldn’t require much attention from emergency managers.
Since the leak was contained at the site, it went unreported to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, although it did make it into a federal pipeline monitoring database.
The Dakota Access pipeline leaked at least five times in 2017.
The biggest was a 168-gallon leak near DAPL’s endpoint in Patoka, Illinois, on April 23.
DAPL went into operation on June 1, along with its under-the-radar sister project, the Energy Transfer Crude Oil pipeline, a natural gas pipeline converted to carry crude.
Most of the Bakken system leaks were considered minor by state and federal monitors.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokesperson Kim Schofinski told The Intercept that reporting the spill to the agency was not required because it was contained within the pumping station where it occurred.
The Line 3 project’s environmental impact statement has underlined that damages to tribal natural and cultural resources along that pipeline’s pathway are “not quantifiable” and “cannot be mitigated.” “Somebody lives there,” LaDuke said.

Learn More