Another Enbridge Pipeline Spills, This Time in Wisconsin

Mack Male/CC BY-SA 2.0

The latest accident at an Enbridge oil pipeline comes nearly two years to the day after the 1 million gallon Kalamazoo River tar sands spill. Thankfully this one is not nearly as large. Reuters reports that 1200 barrels (50,400 gallons) of oil spilled over the weekend from Enbridge's Line 14 pipeline in Wisconsin.

The US Transportation Department Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is investigating the cause of the spill, with the 318,000 barrels per day pipeline shutdown until the cause is determined.

There's not much more to report at the moment on the spill, and frankly, while any spill has negative environmental consequences, the scale of this spill is nearly just symbolic in comparison to the Kalamazoo River spill. However, it's worthwhile reconsidering the recent characterization of Enbridge's response to the 2010 spill by the National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB investigators also said a “culture of deviance” led control center operators for Enbridge in Edmonton, Alberta, to deviate from a company rule that the pipeline should be shut down if, after 10 minutes of receiving a signal of a problem on the line, a reason for the problem could not be ascertained. It was 17 hours after the initial signal that the pipeline was finally shut down.

All told, the NTSB said Enbridge employees acted like the "Keystone Kops" trying to deal with the spill.

Tags: Oil | Oil Spill | Tar Sands

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