TOPEKA, Kan. — When the Kansas Legislature comes together on Jan. 9, at least one lawmaker is calling for committee hearings to get more information about the Keystone pipeline spill in Washington County that sent 588,000 gallons of oil into Kansas land and water.
“TC Energy has been very good about communicating exactly what TC Energy wants you to know,” Xu said. “Everybody who I’ve asked have given me answers, sometimes they’re vague.”
He said federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency are at the site and responsible for making sure pipelines like Keystone are safe. That means there isn’t much state lawmakers can do.
“But what we can do as a state is have a series of hearings on it,” Xu said.
“We have a Utilities Committee; we have a Water Committee. Both of them would be well-suited to bring in TC Energy, bring in scientists, bring in the environmental groups, and the tribes and get everybody’s view on what happened and get the best path going forward.”
FOX4 contacted TC Energy to get the latest information about the cause of the spill and what’s next after the clean-up. They directed us to these statements and websites, which point out that the oil is flowing again and there is constant monitoring at the site.
It still isn’t clear what caused the pipeline to break, but it carries a special form of oil called dilbit that experts say is dense, sinks in water, and can create challenges during the clean-up process.
It’s one of the aspects Xu wishes he had more answers about.
“How did we get a higher pipeline pressure line that regulation, permitting allowed, with a liquid that we still don’t really know how to clean up properly,” Xu asked.
The cause of the spill still hasn’t been publicly announced but Xu thinks that a report could be coming out soon.