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TransCanada, the company that owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline, said 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of oil spilled near Amherst, SD.

The cause of the leak is under investigation, the company said.

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TransCanada crews detected a drop in pressure at 6 a.m. CT Thursday morning and shut down the pipeline, which runs from Hardesty, Alberta, to Cushing, OK, and Wood River/Patoka, IL.

Amherst is 200 miles north of Sioux Falls, SD, and about 25 miles from the state’s border with North Dakota.

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The conduit is not the controversial and long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline that TransCanada is still shepherding through the approval process.

Brian Walsh, an environmental scientist manager at the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the company was aware of the spill at about 5:30 a.m. CT. But his agency wasn’t alerted until about 10:30 a.m. CT.

“There is a time lag there and I expect that that will be some of the questions we need to answer over the coming months,” he told Jeff.

In its statement, TransCanada said, “The section of pipe along a right-of-way approximately 35 miles south of the Ludden pump station in Marshall County, South Dakota was completely isolated with 15 minutes and emergency procedures were activated.”

The spill occurred about 3 miles southeast of Amherst on private land, which Walsh described as a “flat, grassy area for grazing.”

The company says that it is providing state and federal regulators “with accurate and confirmed information on an ongoing basis.”

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