The spill was reportedly contained by gravel in a containment area; the gravel was carted off to be properly disposed of, officials say. Those spills occurred while the company was constructing a different pipeline, but happened while workers were employing the same drilling technique -known as horizontal drilling - the company used to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath the Missouri River.
The leak was small, but the pipeline is not yet in full operation.
Currently, four Sioux Tribes are in an ongoing lawsuit against Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline developer building DAPL, to shut it down. "We treated this as we would treat any other 84-gallon oil spill".
"I would characterize it as a small operational spill that was cleaned up right away", Walsh told the AP.
"They keep telling everybody that it is state of the art, that leaks won't happen, that nothing can go wrong", said Jan Hasselman, a lawyer for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who have been fighting the project for years.
For Standing Rock Sioux tribe chairman Dave Archambault II, the spill is another indicator that the courts should intervene. Nobody listened to us.
Tribal attorney Jan Hasselman said the leak shows the need for more environmental study of the pipeline, which will move oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in IL.
In December 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delayed construction of the pipeline to explore potential alternative routes. The controversial project, headed by Energy Transfer Partners, would stretch from North Dakota to IL and had been heavily protested by environmental activists and Native American tribes. Spokeswoman Vicki Granado issued a statement saying the spilled oil "stayed in the containment area as designed".
Following two spills of millions of gallons of drilling fluids into OH wetlands last month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has "curtailed work" on ETP's Rover gas pipeline, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. A federal spill report database does not show any reports from Energy Transfer Partners or its subsidiary Dakota Access LLC in any of the other states through which the pipeline passes.
Of the many concerns cited by those who oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the likelihood of a leak occurring has been most pressing.
Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice's lead attorney on the case, said there are now no scheduled hearings or deadlines for a judgement on their motion for summary judgement, and he doubts that a ruling will come before the pipeline's scheduled operational debut on June 1.