Pipeline spills frustrate Wisconsinites

Aug. 3, 2012 at 8:13 AM

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Energy companies, state and federal regulators should take a hard look at pipeline regulations to allay safety concerns, a Wisconsin newspaper says.

The West Shore pipeline in Wisconsin, operated by Buckeye Partners, closed in July after federal authorities reported the release of around 1,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline.

The Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal Sentinel quotes Buckeye's safety director Patrick Hodgins as saying the company "didn't do as good a job as we should have in communicating with the community" about possible contamination tied to the release.

"The company is right about one thing: It did a lousy job of letting people know how it was responding to the July 17 gasoline spill and that the fuel could impact their water supply," an editorial in the newspaper reads.

Near Grand Marsh, Wis., last week, pipeline company Enbridge confirmed a release of 1,200 barrels of oil from its 467-mile Line 14, part of the Lakehead system. The incident occurred one day after the second anniversary of an Enbridge spill in Michigan on the same network, the costliest onshore spill in U.S. history.

The Journal says pipelines are good for the state economy and the nation's energy infrastructure but more diligence is needed from all parties involved to ensure their operations are safe.

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