Friends of the Kaw Responds to Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill in the Kansas River Watershed

Photo of a site on Mill Creek (Kansas), downstream of the Keystone Pipeline Oil Spill.  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FRIENDS OF THE KAW RESPONDS TO KEYSTONE PIPELINE OIL SPILL IN THE KANSAS RIVER WATERSHED

LAWRENCE, KS (December 9, 2022) – Friends of the Kaw (FOK) was notified that the Keystone Pipeline spilled about 14,000 barrels or 600,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kansas River watershed on Wednesday evening, December 7, 2022, at about 8:00 PM CST.  The Keystone Pipeline spilled into Mill Creek, just north of Washington, Kansas.  This creek drains into the Little Blue River, then to the Big Blue River where its waters are held in Tuttle Creek Reservoir before being released to the Kansas River.  We do not yet know how many miles of river this covers.

Commissioned in 2010, the Keystone Pipeline carries oil in Canada and the United States, and is owned by TC Energy and the Government of Alberta.  The pipeline travels across the entire state of Kansas from near Washington, Kansas in the north to just west of Arkansas City, Kansas in the south. It crosses many rivers and streams along its path.  The spill occurred very near Mill Creek and has completely inundated the creek with oil.  We suspect many fish and wildlife have been lost as this creek is host to numerous concentrations of birds, fish, eagles, and other wildlife.  This is of particular concern during the fall migration season.  Fish and wildlife are important to Kansans for the quality of life that they bring to our state and the roles they play in our native ecosystems.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued a stream advisory for Mill Creek.  Both KDHE and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remediation teams were deployed immediately to the oil spill site.  Earthen berms have been constructed and oil booms installed to try to prevent the oil plume from migrating downstream. The Kansas Water Office is monitoring the situation and it appears at this time that no public water systems have been impacted. 

Over 61,000 square miles of watershed in Kansas, southern Nebraska, and eastern Colorado drain to the Kansas River, the drinking water source for over 800,000 Kansans and a vital natural resource.  This area includes the creek, rivers, and reservoir potentially impacted by this Keystone pipeline spill.  While Washington County is seemingly far away from the Kansas River, disasters like this one illustrate how connected the people and places in our watershed truly are.  

For the sake of the people and wildlife in Washington County and those living downstream who could be impacted, we urge TC Energy to clean up the entire spill and to take action on any later impacts that may occur as a result of their actions.  Thank you to the dedicated teams at KDHE and EPA for responding swiftly. 

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Friends of the Kaw serves the Kansas River, the largest prairie-based river system in the world. The Kansas River originates at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers near Junction City, Kansas and runs 173 miles east to meet the Missouri River at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas.

Friends of the Kaw is a member of the global Waterkeeper Alliance.  Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water. Our goal is drinkable, fishable, swimmable water everywhere.

For Media Inquiries Please Contact:

Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper® & Executive Director

Friends of the Kaw

785.312.7200

7th Annual Beers of the Kaw

7th Annual Beers of the Kaw

Beer of the Kaw is a beer tasting of the breweries in the Kansas River watershed, which is 61,000 square miles!  We use beer and water to educate about the watershed.  Come join us to learn a little, taste a little beer, and support our work for the Kansas River!  Tickets $35 and supports Friends of the Kaw and our work for the Kansas River!

Tickets: https://bit.ly/3KSmVcL

Sunday, November 6, 2022 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM

Abe & Jake’s Landing, Lawrence, KS

Tickets also available at (cash or check only): Sunflower Outdoor & Bike, Lawrence, KS OR Compass Point, Home of Dirty Girl Adventures, Topeka, KS

More information: https://kansasriver.org/beersofthekaw/

It’s Paddle Season!

It’s Paddle Season!

Paddle season is here and you can join Friends of the Kaw for your first or next river adventure! We have big events coming up including Beginner Wednesday’s, Beginner Camping, and our popular Educational Paddle Trips including Bugs, Biodiversity & the Kaw coming up May 21 and a Water Quality Paddle on June 25! Find all of our events and sign up information on our event calendar!

13th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

13TH ANNUAL WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL

LIVE and VIRTUAL SCREENINGS – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Tickets for Liberty Hall

Tickets for VIRTUAL Showing

What is the Wild & Scenic Film Festival?

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), in 2003.  Read more here:  https://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/about/.  The film festival has evolved into the largest environmental film festival in the nation.  The annual event each January in Nevada City, CA kicks off the nationwide tour to over 140 cities. We think the films are just too good, and the messages too powerful to keep them to ourselves. Come watch and see for yourself!  Learn more about the Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

This Festival benefits Friends of the Kaw! We are hosting the 13th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of the Kaw and the Kansas Riverkeeper Program.

FREE Education Tickets, first come first serve.  Email request for FREE tickets to:   info@kansasriver.org.  Courtesy of EVERGY’S GREEN TEAM! Learn more: https://kansasriver.org/wsff/