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Keystone Pipeline restarts oil flow while leak’s cause still investigated

Crude oil is again moving through the Keystone Pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and Patoka, Ill., after a leak was discovered a week ago. Photo by Larry W. Smith/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Crude oil is again moving through the Keystone Pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and Patoka, Ill., after a leak was discovered a week ago. Photo by Larry W. Smith/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Dec. 15 (UPI) — Crude oil is again moving through the Keystone Pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and Patoka, Ill., after a leak was discovered a week ago.

The leak, which was found pouring into a creek in Kansas, dumped about 600,000 gallons of crude oil.

TC Energy, the Canadian company in control of the pipeline, believes it has recovered about 233,814 gallons of an oil and water mixture from the creek about 20 miles south of Steele City, Neb.

Oil flow was restarted Wednesday, but a segment of the pipeline remains shut while the cause of the leak is being investigated.

“This segment will not be restarted until it is safe to do so and when we have regulatory approval from [U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration],” an update from TC Energy said.

TC Energy established a reporting system for anyone who sees evidence of impacted wildlife. On Tuesday, a beaver that was caught in the area of the leak was rescued and taken into the care of a team of third-party environmental experts. Four mammals and 71 fish have died, officials said.

The leak was discovered after the system reported a drop in pressure on the evening of Dec. 7. The pipeline was then shut as energy crews responded. They found the oil spilling into a creek in Washington County, Kan.

The area around the leak has been excavated clear for the investigation.

The Environmental Protection Agency said 414 workers were on-site Wednesday.

The Keystone Pipeline is about 2,687 miles long, stretching from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, through Steele City to Cushing, Okla., and Patoka, Ill.

Steele City is the location of a crucial joint in which the pipeline splits off toward Patoka. From Cushing, the pipeline continues to Port Arthur, Texas.

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