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Keystone I pipeline springs 12 leaks in first year alone

While the State Department is in the process of approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the first part of that project — Keystone I — just had its 12th leak in only its first year of operation, according to environmental group Friends of the Earth.

A TransCanada pipeline that carries tar sands oil into the U.S. from Canada had to be shut down for inspection Saturday after spilling about 21,000 gallons of tar sands oil in southeastern North Dakota, according to news reports.

The spill underscored safety concerns raised about TransCanada’s proposal to build a larger tar sands oil pipeline across the U.S., the Keystone XL. The proposal is currently under review by the Obama administration.

According to eyewitnesses, Saturday’s rupture of the Keystone I pipeline sent a six-story high gusher of oil into the air. The spill occurred at a pumping station, but the spray contaminated soil and water in a nearby field before it could be contained.

“TransCanada’s first tar sands oil pipeline into the U.S. has sustained spill after spill,” said Alex Moore, dirty fuels campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Nobody should have to wake up on a Saturday morning to the sight of oil spraying sixty feet into the air near her home.”

The tar sands oil spill in North Dakota is the 12th spill from the Keystone I pipeline in just its first year of operation.

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