Magellan Midstream Partners have reported a leak of over 138,000 gallons of diesel fuel in Fort Worth county. The leak originated from a 12-inch underground pipe and first spotted in a farmer’s field.While they say the spill is contained, the incident highlights why many are protesting the new development of oil pipelines across the nation like like the DAPL.
There are numerous concerns surrounding pipelines and the associated oil spills. “Oils spills obviously have serious environmental and health consequences. Pollution, fires, property and land damage, water poisoning, and the destruction of habitats of birds, fish, and many other animals are a few of the environmental risks inherent in pipelining oil. For humans, oil spills hold the potential for cancer and leukemia, and offshoots from the consequences of the environmental damage, not to mention serious economical loss.”
The owners of the pipeline claim the spill has been contained and hasn’t reached any waterways. The leak reportedly started at 5:30 am on Wednesday near Hanlontown and that weather is impacting the cleanup efforts. It is reported by those with the company report that Magellan Midstream Partners are no strangers to leaks, and have experienced pipe breaks before. Just hours before former President Obama shut down plans for the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, Magellan Midstream Partners experienced a leak of 1000’s of barrels of crude oil in rural Oklahoma.
The Worth County Sheriff’s Office, Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Worth/Mitchell County Emergency Management and Freeborn County Emergency Management are on the scene.
As reported by Mike Bunge for KIMT.com:
Worth County Sheriff Dan Fank says there are no health risks at this time but Wheelerwood Road from 390th to 410th Street will be shut down for a couple of days.
Magellan Midstream Partners has issued a statement which says they are unsure what caused the 12” pipe to leak. Company representatives, clean-up crews and various regulators and environmental crews were sent to the site.
Magellan Midstream Partners says the leak has caused no injuries of evacuations so far. Over 70 people, including Magellan representatives, emergency crews, regulators and contracts, are on the scene Thursday.
Magellan says operations on this section of their pipeline system have been halted and repairs are expected to begin soon. There is no estimate on when the pipeline could go back into operation.
The cause of the leak remains under investigation.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel leaked in Worth County.
“There will be a investigation on what caused release and what can be learned from this to try and help us and ensure this doesn’t happen again,” says Tom Byers, Manager of Government and Media Affairs for Magellan Mainstream Partners.
Byers says they will continue clean up efforts and monitor the situation on a 24 hour basis.
Despite the downplay from the pipeline owners that the leak has been contained, Jeff Vansteenburg of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources expressed major concern.
“The product is under pressure, so as soon as a leak develops, it starts coming out pretty fast,” Vansteenburg said at a Wednesday evening news conference. “Vacuum trucks are sucking up as much liquid as they can and taking that down to Magellan’s terminal. … Once they’ve recovered all the free product that they can then they will go in and remove contaminated soil.”
Vansteenburg said the diesel had not reached nearby Willow Creek or a wildlife protection area.
While Magellan Midstream Partners hopes the public will be satisfied that the leak has been contained and that the fuel did not reach waterways there is no doubt that hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leaking into the soil of a farmland will have consequences down the line. Pipelines carry a huge risk of environmental risks, posing threats not only to humans but animals and ecosystems that surround them. Movements like NoDAPL are striving to shed light on these dangers and make the public aware of the consequences of pipelines gone wrong. Is the short-term economic gain of the Big Oil Industry worth destroying the earth for generations to come? That is a question we must ask ourselves as we move ahead with an administration that is ready to put profits before people, exemplifying this by having given the green light for projects like Keystone XL, and DAPL to forge ahead.
(Article By Tasha Sharifa)