Deputies Find Hole Burned Into Oil Pipeline

CANTON, S.D. – The Dakota Access Pipeline has created controversy nationwide.

A section of it still needs to be installed in North Dakota.

There’s already pipe in the ground in areas like Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties.

It’s been that way for months.

But authorities say just this past weekend, part of that pipe was vandalized.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office got the call Friday afternoon, a report of vandalism on part of the pipeline valve just northeast of Canton on 279th St.

“They observed a small burnt hole in the pipeline,” says Chief Deputy Chad Brown. “At that time there was no oil or spilling coming out or anything like that.”

Chief Deputy Brown says the hole is just below one of the curved parts of the pipeline, and it’s only about the size of a dime.

But according to the Dakota Access Pipeline website, the pipe is 30 in. thick.

So the small hole will cost big money.

“The damage estimate is between $30,000 and $60,000,” says Chief Deputy Brown.

It was a contract worker who first noticed the vandalism.

“They periodically inspect the valve sights,” explains Chief Deputy Brown.

Crews from both Michels Corporation and AE2S Construction were out at the valve sight today.

However, no one got back to KDLT News on how long it will take for the pipeline to be fixed.

“It’s very concerning,” says Chief Deputy Brown. “We haven’t had any issues with the pipeline when they did the construction up until this point; this is the first incident we had.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has not made any arrests, but they say they do have some leads.

“We have some evidence but it will have to be processed to see what we come up with,” says Chief Deputy Brown.

The Sheriff’s Office also called the FBI to help with the investigation since the pipeline stretches across multiple states.

The pipeline is 95 percent completed.

All that remains is the installation of the pipeline 95 to 115 ft. below Lake Oahe.

KDLT News reached out to Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

They say “the appropriate authorities are actively investigating the situation and those found responsible will be prosecuted.”

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