Not every Marshall County neighbor of the Keystone pipeline is as nonchalant about TransCanada’s latest prairie oil spill as the fellows quoted in yesterday’s Aberdeen American News. KSFY talks to Marshall County farmer Kent Moeckly, who had plenty to say several years ago about TransCanada’s disregard for his concerns and his land, echoes the “we told you so” attitude going around in pipeline-opponent circles:
“Well, it’s like the other shoe dropping. We were told by a lot of people that when TransCanada put this thing in the ground that the conditions, it was sloppy, wet conditions, and they just drove it in cause in a hurry, time is money,” Marshall County Landowner Kent Moeckly said.
…”We had some educated people, engineers and that sort of thing that said thin wall, high pressure, hazardous liquid pipelines and then slamming it in the way they did and putting cement weights on it to hold in down in the water they were putting it in, in the trenches, they said how can something like this not happen?” Moeckly said [Kayleigh Schmidt, “Landowner near Keystone Pipeline Leak Says He Isn’t Surprised,” KSFY, 2017.11.17].
Apparently folks around the spill area are breathing in potentially toxic fumes:
The oil smell in the air is a big concern for area farmers.
“I wouldn’t want to be downwind of that smell very long because they tell us, the experts told us when this whole thing was happening that it’s very deadly, very poisonous and you just really need to stay away,” Moeckly said [Schmidt, 2017.11.17].
The smell apparently doesn’t bother Marshall County commissioner Paul Symens, who lives just a couple miles away. The former Democratic legislator is more worried about protestors than pipeliners:
“As far as danger to the public, there’s nothing where it is that’s a water issue. It won’t be mixing with any water. It won’t be contaminating any wells; it won’t be doing of that,” Symens said.
…”One of my fears, if I had a fear, was if we had people coming in here to protest, to petition, to get in the way, and create other problems for the neighbors here that would be a problem. We haven’t had that to this point,” Symens said [Dan Santella, “Marshall County Commissioner: Oil Spill Not a Threat to Water,” KELO-TV, 2017.11.17].
In an update provided yesterday morning to DENR, TransCanada said it has “over 75 people supporting our incident response—specialists in environmental management, metallurgy, engineering, pipeline integrity and emergency response. TransCanada has mobilized a full complement of equipment on site including track hoes, earth movers, hydrovacs, bobcats, safety and emergency response equipment, vacuum trucks and high-powered lighting for around-the-clock operations.”