Benzene From Keystone XL Threat to Drinking Water

Benzene exposure is an established cause of several blood diseases, particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome. For many, their disease is associated with benzene exposure on the job. Benzene is commonly used in American industry. It is also highly toxic. For many living in South Dakota near the Keystone XL pipeline, benzene exposure is a serious concern.

Keystone XL Pipeline Leak Could Cause Serious Benzene Contamination of South Dakota Drinking Water

Every day, the Keystone XL pipeline reportedly will carry almost 35 million gallons of diluted bitumen (called “dilbit”) through South Dakota. Many residents there are concerned about the presence of benzene in the dilbit. They are worried about a pipeline leak.

An environmental study cautions that dilbit contains lighter hydrocarbons than other heavier crude oils, which gives dilbit higher concentrations of benzene. Dr. Arden Davis has testified that given the solubility of benzene, and its allowable limit of just 5 parts per billion in drinking water, a pipeline leak could be disastrous. A leak at the Cheyenne River that went undetected for just 12 to 24 hours could allow benzene to reach the Missouri River, resulting in the potential widespread contamination of surface water or ground water.

Unlike conventional crude oil, dilbit sinks in water, making it much more difficult to clean up. And benzene is not removed by water treatment systems. This risk of benzene exposure is cause for alarm to many South Dakota residents. They worry that a health impact assessment has not been prepared and that public water utilities have not made adequate disaster preparations. The risk of drinking water contamination with benzene is a very serious threat.

Have You or a Loved One Been Exposed to Benzene

The lawyers at Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel have been representing people who have been sickened by toxic exposures for more than twenty years. If you or a loved one has been exposed to benzene and diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome, call our toxic tort lawyers at 800.226.9880 to learn more about how we can assist you with a benzene lawsuit.

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