TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has weighed in on a massive oil spill in northeast Kansas.
It’s the largest spill in the history of the Keystone pipeline, resulting in hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spilled near the Kansas-Nebraska border. Pipeline operators have been ordered to investigate the spill.
In an interview Tuesday, Gov. Kelly said she’s waiting on the findings of the investigation to decide the next steps.
“I’m looking forward to the results of the investigation to see, what, if anything, we can do to ensure that something like this never happens again,” Gov. Kelly said.
Recovery efforts are underway as crews clean up about 588,000 gallons of oil that spilled into a creek in Washington County. The spill is just a few miles away from Washington, Kansas, which is home to 1,100 people.
The spill has been contained, according to local officials. No drinking water supply has been impacted.
Kansas Capitol Bureau asked the Governor whether she is currently in communication with the energy company involved in the spill. TC Energy Corporation, a major North American energy company, based in Canada, operates Keystone Pipeline and has been in charge of communications regarding the spill.
“I’m really not personally engaged in any conversations with the energy companies,” Kelly said. “I do know that they’re working diligently to get that cleaned up, and obviously, we’ve got folks from KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment), who are all over it and working closely with the companies and with the feds to ensure that the cleanup is done and done well.”
TC Energy was granted a special permit from the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which allows it to operate certain portions of the pipeline at higher stress levels than other lines.
The permit has received pushback from some Democratic lawmakers, calling for stricter regulations.
Kansas Capitol Bureau asked Gov. Kelly whether she thinks possible solutions could include looking at stronger permit regulations.
“I’m not sure exactly what it will result in … we need to do the investigation, and then that will determine the results,” Gov. Kelly said.