The 1.4 million litres of tar sands/oil sands bitumen that spilled from the Keystone pipeline late last month affected 10 times more land than North Dakota state regulators initially reported, state environmental scientist Bill Seuss said Monday.
The spill “is now estimated by state regulators to have affected about 209,100 square feet (19,426 square metres) of land near Edinburg,” The Associated Press reports. Previously, “state regulators had said the leak affected about 22,500 square feet (2,090 square metres) of land.”
Seuss explained the initial estimated was based on “a quick and dirty look at it,” adding that “we did have some surface expansion since then.”
TC Energy, the Calgary-based company previously known as TransCanada Pipeline, restarted Keystone November 10 with a reduced flow rate, even though it’s still trying to determine what caused the spill.
In Washington, DC, AP reported yesterday that Democrats in the House of Representatives were asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to look into the spill, Keystone’s third in three years. “The public has a legitimate expectation that the Keystone Pipeline System managed by TC Energy operate safely and without repeated incidents that damage the environment and threaten the public’s health and security,” said the letter signed by House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chair Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Energy Subcommittee Chair Bobby Rush (D-IL).