State lawmakers are concerned that southern Kansas is vulnerable to oil spills from the Keystone pipeline system because earthquakes have become more frequent.
Lawmakers raised the concern yesterday as they questioned an executive for the pipeline’s operator about a spill in northeastern Kansas in December. A vice president of Canada-based TC Energy is briefing three Kansas legislative committees about the Dec. 7 rupture on the Keystone pipeline in Washington County that resulted from a faulty weld. The company expects cleanup efforts to last at least into the summer. GOP lawmakers praised TC Energy for moving quickly to contain the Washington County spill and described the company as open about its activities. No one was evacuated, and state and U.S. government officials have said water from two rivers downstream was not affected. Several lawmakers also said they are nervous about the pipeline in the Wichita area about 160 miles south because of earthquake activity. TC Energy says that seismic activity is considered in pipelines' design and routes, and U.S. government regulators require it to be factored into maintenance plans.