KS family farm impacted by record Keystone Pipeline oil spill

One Kansas family is working to restore their farm after a record oil spill in Washington County.
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 10:42 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Just 20 miles south of the Kansas-Nebraska state line, federal data reports the biggest oil spill in Keystone Pipeline history. The spill is impacting many people in who live in Washington County.

“We know we have pasture grass that’s black, that will probably have to be removed,” said Chris Pannbacker, who owns a farm nearby the spill.

“It’s our land; it’s our livelihood. Our kids grew up there. There is a lot of heritage and history and our families worked hard to be good stewards of the land. So, we just want to do whatever we can to restore it,” said Pannbacker.

Nearly 150 crew members in Washington County are working to help fix the spill. Officials are also investigating what led to it.

According to Washington County’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, water is safe to drink for those in the area. People are asked to avoid the area while crews continue to work.

“There is going to be a lot of traffic in the area. The company probably has 150 people on the ground in all capacity onsite. So, there is a lot of equipment and a lot of moving parts,” said Randy Hubbard, Washington County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

Washington County Commissioners will meet with pipeline representatives next week to discuss more information about the oil spill.