The Dakota Access pipeline, which was at the center of protests by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes as well as environmentalists, leaked 84 gallons of oil in April, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The pipeline, which is not yet fully operational, was filled with oil in preparation to begin service at the end of March of this year after duplicitous, ill-tempered toddler President Donald Trump signed an executive order for its advancement, just two days after the collective national nightmare that was the inauguration.
News of the leak was published in a searchable database on South Dakota’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources website. But there was no public announcement about it because the state doesn’t issue news releases about leaks unless they prove to be a threat against public health, drinking water reserves or fisheries, according to Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist with the agency. The leak took place on April 6 and was quickly contained.
Jan Hasselman, an attorney representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who, according to the Guardian, has been fighting against this pipeline for years, expressed disappointment and again, stressed the need for a closer environmental assessment. “It doesn’t give us any pleasure to say, ‘I told you so.’ But we have said from the beginning that it’s not a matter of if, but when,” Hasselman told the Guardian. “Pipelines leak and they spill. It’s just what happens.”
Though the leak was small and didn’t affect any waterways, but the fact that it even happened was enough to raise concerns with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who say that it’s proof that the pipeline will pose a threat to waterways and the cultural sites they wanted to protect.
In a statement, tribal Chairman Dave Archambault noted that with the pipeline spanning 1,200 miles, leaks are bound to happen again. “Nobody listened to us,” he said. “Nobody wants to listen because they’re driven by money and greed.”
The pipeline is expected to be fully operational and ready to go on June 1.