Landowner near Keystone Pipeline leak says he isn't surprised

MARSHALL COUNTY, S.D. Crews are continuing to clean up what is considered the largest oil spill in South Dakota history. The incident happened around 6 a.m. Thursday morning and 5,000 barrels or 210,000 gallons leaked near Amherst.

One farmer, who owns land just north of where the oil leak happened and has pipeline underneath his property, says he isn't surprised that any of this happened.

"Well, it's like the other shoe dropping. We were told by a lot of people that when TransCanada put this thing in the ground that the conditions, it was sloppy, wet conditions, and they just drove it in cause in a hurry, time is money," Marshall County Landowner Kent Moeckly said.

Some landowners were hesitant when the pipeline was first put in several years ago.

"We had some educated people, engineers and that sort of thing that said thin wall, high pressure, hazardous liquid pipelines and then slamming it in the way they did and putting cement weights on it to hold in down in the water they were putting it in, in the trenches, they said how can something like this not happen?" Moeckly said.

The oil smell in the air is a big concern for area farmers.

"I wouldn't want to be downwind of that smell very long because they tell us, the experts told us when this whole thing was happening that it's very deadly, very poisonous and you just really need to stay away," Moeckly said.

Safety is a big concern for TransCanada officials.

"We're fortunate that this segment of pipeline doesn't cross any major water bodies or anything like. There's no indication that there's any long-term environmental impacts at this time," TransCanada Spokesperson Mark Cooper said.

The Keystone Pipeline has transported over 1.5 billion barrels since 2010.

"We send actual pigs through our pipeline. They're gauges that note any kind of sensitive areas and that obviously no incident is acceptable to us, but TransCanada has a very strong safety record and strong protocol as it relates to inspecting our pipelines," Cooper said.

Landowners are hoping that no more leaks are found, but know that only time will tell.

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