July 22, 2014

Pipeline team practices oil spill clean-up techniques on Missouri River

The Missouri River at Yankton was the scene of an all-day environmental disaster drill on Thursday set up by the operators of the Keystone oil pipeline.

TransCanada spokesman Robert Latimer explains how practice makes perfect.

“The boom and the skimmer equipment we have set out here is set up to channel and collect oil that floats on the surface of the water in the unlikely event of a release of oil from our pipeline,” he says.

The machinery is designed just for this type of spill.

“The oil would be captured and channeled by the boom to a point where this device by the riverbank would skim up the oil,” Latimer says. “It would be pumped into trucks, taken away and recovered.”

The Keystone pipeline crosses the Missouri River just downstream of Riverside Park in Yankton and continues across eastern Nebraska.

The same company is proposing building another pipeline further to the west. The proposed Keystone XL pipelineĀ is a $7-billion, 1,700 mile project that would take crude oil form the tar sands of western Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton