Oil and hazmat spills are daily occurrence

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Click here for an interactive version. Zoom in, find your part of the country, and hover over bubbles to see details of individual spills.

After the latest big oil spill — 200,000 + gallons on the Keystone line in South Dakota — I decided to take an updated look at the national data on pipeline spills to see how it compared to others. Here’s what I found:

• Over the last 2.5 years (since mid-2015, when I last published oil spill data) there have been at least five spills of 200,000 gallons or larger.

• Spills of various sizes, on both crude oil and other hazardous material pipelines (not including natural gas) have occurred on a daily basis in the U.S. (more than 2000 since mid-2015).

• A total of 3.6 million gallons of oil has spilled from pipelines during that time. A lot of it was recovered, but certainly not all of it.

Click here for an interactive look into individual spills. Zoom in for more detail, then hover over or click on bubbles for details about each incident.

Keep in mind that this only includes incidents on pipelines that are overseen by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the source of this data. Not included are leaks and spills from other facilities, like individual oil or gas wells and the like. Also not included here are natural gas-related incidents — those are in a separate database. I’m currently updating the natural gas map, as well as putting together one that shows other incidents in just the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. That one is rather harrowing. Stay tuned.




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