Home > Environment > Enbridge oil pipeline leaking in Illinois

Enbridge oil pipeline leaking in Illinois

Company said it was stopped


A second spill in a pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy Partners, this time in Illinois, was leaking 200-600 barrels of oil an hour late Friday, despite the company’s insistence earlier that the leak had been halted. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the company to stop the leak by noon Monday.

Enbridge already is under fire for the biggest oil pipeline spill in the Midwest after its pipeline burst in July near Marshall, leaking at least 820,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

The leak near Romeoville, Ill., on the company’s 34-inch 6A pipeline, was noticed Thursday shortly after noon. Oil splashed onto a road and then flowed into a nearby retention pond. The company said the pipeline was shut down minutes after the discovery, and the leak was contained.

But the EPA said Friday that was not true. The agency said oil was flowing from storm and sanitary sewers to the retention pond, which was nearly full. The EPA ordered the pond to be pumped so it didn’t overflow.

In a conference call, EPA officials told congressional staff that although the pipe had been closed off at either end, oil still was flowing and no one knew exactly where the leak was located.

Pipeline 6A is Enbridge’s largest and runs from Superior, Wis., to Griffith, Ind. Because of its shutdown, oil futures spiked Friday. The pipeline delivers oil to midwestern refineries.

Pipeline 6B runs from Griffith through Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. That line has been shut down since Enbridge’s July spill near Marshall, and there’s no certainty if or when it will reopen.

Enbridge has been under fire from federal regulators for the maintenance and flaws in its 1,900-mile Lakehead pipeline system, which delivers oil from western Canada to the U.S.

Reports reviewed by the Free Press show that as long as eight years ago, the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which inspects pipelines, noted problems with maintenance and repairs on the system. In February, Enbridge officials were summoned to Washington, D.C., to meet with regulators about correcting those problems.

U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer of Battle Creek has been critical of Enbridge’s history of spills. “This most recent spill by Enbridge left me stunned, but not entirely surprised,” he said.

Congress plans hearings on Enbridge’s conduct Wednesday.

Contact TINA LAM: 313-222-6421 or tlam@freepress.com

BACK to margotbworldnews.com

  1. Dr William B. Mount
    September 19, 2010 at 4:03 am

    That’s 30,000 gallons per hour.

    Just a leak, right?

    Not a blow line form an attack?

    Yeah, right.

    30,000 Gallons per hour, Just a leak?


    Honorable Grace
    Dr William B. Mount
    Knight Of Malta
    Cpt (Ret) US

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