It’s Already Happening: DAPL Spews Oil From Multiple Leaks As Construction Continues

Oil leaks that pose catastrophic risks to the environment, people and water were the reason thousands of protesters risked their lives to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Millions of others around the world showed their support for the protesters and the rights of all people to have access to clean water and a healthy environment.

Tragically, the fears of clean water activists around the world are already coming true. The Associated Press reports the Dakota Access Pipeline has already spilled oil onto American soil three separate times — before it’s even been fully constructed.

According to the North Dakota Health Department, a leaky flange in a pipeline terminal spilled 84 gallons of oil on March 3, in Watford City. The spill was quickly contained and oil flow was stopped on site. According to the department, the contaminated soil and snow were removed and no waterways, people or wildlife were harmed.

Two days later a leak of 20 gallons was reported in a rural area of Mercer County by the Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Again, they stated that no waterways, people or wildlife were harmed.

The incident report faults a manufacturing defect as the caused a valve failure and the subsequent leak, which was isolated by closing valves upstream and downstream. All other valves were later inspected and given the OK.

Despite the ETP insisting that the pipeline is safe, several native Dakota tribes still fear the future environmental havoc of this 1,200-mile pipeline that will start commercial operation on June 1st.

The Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Oglala Sioux and Yankton Tribes are still fighting to stop the pipeline from operating. They are currently working in court to convince a federal judge to shut it down.

The pipeline leaked a third time on April 4th. Eighty-four gallons were spilled at a rural pump station in South Dakota. The SD Department of Environment and Natual Resources reported the spill to its online database but kept it quiet from the public. Apparently, the department’s policy is to conduct a press release only if the spill “threatens waterways or public health.”

In the fight to stop the DAPL, attorneys and local Tribal leaders are using these leaks as evidence that additional environmental reviews are necessary before it becomes fully operational.

“We have always said it is not a matter of if, but when,” tribal attorney Jan Hasselman said after the South Dakota leak. “Pipelines spill and leak. It’s just a fact.”