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Enbridge delays pipeline work in Michigan

Jan. 17, 2011 at 9:01 AM

PORT HURON, Mich., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Michigan lawmakers said they weren't upset that Canadian pipeline company Enbridge delayed repair work on an oil pipeline under the St. Clair River.

Line 6B of the Enbridge-operated Lakehead oil pipeline system ruptured in southern Michigan in late July, spilling around 20,000 barrels of oil into area waterways. A 12-inch dent was found later on a section of the same pipeline running under the St. Clair River.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said in a restart plan for Line 6B that Enbridge needed to replace the damaged St. Clair leg within a year.

Joe Martucci, a spokesman for the pipeline company, told The Times Herald newspaper in Port Huron, Mich., that the St. Clair work was delayed as a precautionary measure.

"It's a complex process and we think it's prudent to recheck the plan," he was quoted as saying.

Local officials had given Enbridge approval to repair the St. Clair section of the pipeline starting the week of Jan. 10. Jeff Friedland, the emergency management director for St. Clair County, told the newspaper he was fine with the delay.

"If we're going to try to do something, let's make sure it's done safely and correctly," he was quoted as saying.

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