TransCanada didn’t have a representative at the potential spill site until Sunday. But by Monday, when the media broke the news, TransCanada had blocked off the area, making documenting the contaminated area from the ground impossible.
It was also impossible to photograph the site from the sky, according to Bold Nebraska. [Bold Nebraska chief Jane] Kleeb told DeSmog that FAA forbade the pilot she hired to fly over the site because it closed the airspace until May 8.
“To have the FAA close off airspace for a foreign corporation is a big problem,” Kleeb said. “We want to take our own pictures. With 100 clean-up workers on site, we have a right to be taking our own pictures and finding out our own information.”
…Yesterday, some South Dakotans who have fought against the Keystone XL pipeline went as close to the site as they could get. They took pictures from the perimeter that TransCanada set up around the spill. But the way the perimeter was set up makes it impossible to meaningfully document the company’s remediation work [Julie Dermansky, “Keystone Pipeline Mishap Has TransCanada Scrambling Again,” DeSmog, 2016.04.06].
Eager reader, Dakota Rural Action leader, and pipeline beater Paul Seamans reported yesterday that TransCanada had armed security guards controlling access to the spill site. Landowner Galen Heckenlaible, who spotted the oil spill Saturday before any of TransCanada’s equipment detected a problem, tells KDLT that TransCanada “has provided security on his property in preparation for any protests that may take place.” Heckenlaible expresses faith and confidence in TransCanada’s work on his property:
A Menno resident of sixty-eight years, he said he’s been pleased with the constant communication he’s had with TransCanada.
“They keep calling me. They notify me of what’s going on, if they’re going to do anything. Yesterday, they notified me that they were going to dig on this side of the road and they were going to take some of the trees out and everything would be replaced,” said Heckenlaible.
As far as how long they will be on Heckenlaible’s property, he was told TransCanada “will not leave here until it’s back to the way it was” [Jake Eble, “Landowners and City Accommodate TransCanada Guests,” KDLT-TV, 2016.04.05].
Mr. Heckenlaible’s “guests” have reported initially that only 187 gallons of oil spilled (and I’m not sure they’ve even admitted it’s their oil yet). Back in 2006, TransCanada told us Keystone 1 would make leaks that size only once every 65 years. But with the unexpected corrosion discovered on Keystone in 2012 and now this leak near Freeman, landowners may find themselves hosting armed “guests” from TransCanada more often than the company told us.