The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that Enbridge will pay $62 million to settle claims related to two separate 2010 pipeline spills.

The settlement, reached between the EPA, U.S. Department of Justice  and several related Enbridge companies, will resolve claims stemming from 2010 oil spills in Marshall, Michigan and Romeoville, Illinois.

According to the EPA, Enbridge has agreed to spend at least $110 million on a series of measures to prevent spills and improve operations across nearly 2,000 miles of its pipeline system in the Great Lakes region.

Enbridge will also pay civil penalties totaling $62 million for Clean Water Act violations.

The company will pay $61 million for discharging at least 20,082 barrels of oil in Marshall and $1 million for discharging at least 6,427 barrels of oil in Romeoville.

The Marshall spill occurred in July 2010 when Enbridge’s Line 6B pipeline discharged at least 20,082 barrels, or 843,444 gallons, of oil.

The EPA said that oil released during that incident entered Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River and adjoining shorelines, “in a quantity as may be harmful.”

The agency said the discharge was caused by a pipeline rupture due to stress corrosion cracking downstream from a pump station and control room errors when personnel “misinterpreted leak alarms and restarted the pipeline without confirming whether there was a pipeline failure.”

The EPA said that the Marshall spill resulted in the closure of certain sections of the Kalamazoo River over a three-year period while Enbridge undertook an extensive cleanup effort

The Romeoville spill occurred in September 2010 when at least 6,427 barrels of oil, or 269,934 gallons, was discharged from Enbridge’s Line 6A pipeline near Romeoville.

The EPA said that oil entered an unnamed tributary to the Des Plaines River and adjoining shorelines in “a quantity as may be harmful.”

Enbridge contends that this spill happened when a third-party water pipe in the right of way failed, causing a water spout that damaged the pipeline, the EPA said.

The settlement for the two spills also includes an injunctive relief plan that applies to Enbridge’s Lakehead System of 14 pipelines hat span 1900 miles in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and New York.

The injunctive relief plan calls for increased spill prevention measures, improved spill response and preparedness and the submission of semi-annual status reports.


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