Enbridge: Fed reaction to oil spill normal

Aug. 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM
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HOUSTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Pipeline company Enbridge said it's "not unusual" to get an order from the government preventing the reopening of a pipeline after an oil spill.

Enbridge confirmed it received a corrective action order from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in response to a release from the companies Line 14 oil pipeline in Wisconsin last week.

The PHMSA order prohibits the resumption of operations until Enbridge submits a restart plan for the 467-mile segment in Wisconsin.

"It is not unusual for PHMSA to issue such an order after an incident," Enbridge spokeswoman Terri Larson said in a statement.

Line 14 has a capacity of 317,600 barrels of oil per day. Installed in 1998, it's part of the Lakehead oil pipeline system carrying so-called tar sands oil from Canada. About 1,200 barrels of oil was released from the pipeline but Enbridge said it was largely contained.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement, said he was planning to speak with Enbridge executives to hear why they should be allowed to continue operating the pipeline in Wisconsin.

"Pipelines operate safely across the country every single day," he said. "That's why accidents, like the one in Wisconsin, are absolutely unacceptable."

The Line 14 incident occurred one day after the second anniversary of the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan, where 20,000 barrels of oil was released.

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