$3.7 million fine proposed against Enbridge oil

July 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 3 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators propose a $3.7 million penalty against Enbridge Energy for a July 2010 oil spill into a Michigan stream.

The fine is recommended in a report, authored by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration under the U.S. Department of Transportation, that accuses the Canadian company of about two dozen violations of federal regulations.

The report said Enbridge failed to address areas of concern prior to the pipeline rupture on July 25, 2010, which leaked more than 1 million gallons of crude oil into Talmadge Creek, which feeds into the Kalamazoo River.

The Detroit Free Press reported the administration previously requested more than $2.4 million in fines against Enbridge in August 2010 for violations that led to the deaths of two employees in Minnesota in 2007 when oil ignited during routine repairs.

The ruptured pipeline had previously been cited after inspections turned up corrosion and cracks, which went unaddressed by Enbridge.

The rupture prompted the closure of 34 miles of the Kalamazoo River as well as Talmadge Creek. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated more than 1.1 million gallons have been recovered in the ongoing cleanup.

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