>> The Native American protesters blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline say the program risks spilling all across sacred ground and into the water supply. And safety data show that they're right to worry. Pipeline operator, Sunoco Logistics has quite a track record. Reuters' energy correspondent Liz Hampton has been digging through government data and broke the story.
>> Sunoco Logistics is one of the most frequent spillers of crude oil among large pipeline operators in the United States. In the past six years, Sunoco spilled oil more than 200 times.>> Sunoco's spill rate is so bad that it is more than two times the industry average.
Only eclipsed by one other spiller on a per-mile basis, Enterprise Products Partners. While it's not at the top when it comes to the actual amount of oil spilled on the ground, there is still reason for concern.>> Sunoco has had a few large spills in the past, particularly on its Mid Valley pipeline, which runs from Texas up to Michigan.
For example, that pipeline leaked more than 6,000 barrels of oil into the Kentucky River in 2005. It also leaked again a few years later, a spill of more than 3,000 barrels.>> The safety offences don't stop there. Records show, Sunoco is right now facing a civil penalty for a Texas spill in early September, of 800 barrels of oil.
And this summer it agreed to pay $850,000 to settle EPA charges for violating the Clean Water Act. When asked to respond to the findings, Sunoco and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners admit to safety problems in the past, but they say things are better now. They've shaken up management and brought in outside help to tighten safety controls.
They say the Dakota Access Pipeline is safe. A claim that's hardly believed by protesters looking to permanently reroute the pipeline.