Breaking: Enbridge Pipeline Spills in Minnesota (Updates original)

Wed, 2013-04-24 13:40Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Breaking: Enbridge Pipeline Spills in Minnesota (Updates original)

Enbridge's Line 2 **Line 67 tar sands** pipeline has leaked an estimated 600 gallons of crude oil at its pump station near Viking, Minnesota. Line 2 was built in 1956 and has a history of spills. Regulators ordered Enbridge to reduce its Line 2 operating pressure in October 2010 following the company's Kalamazoo River tar sands spill. 

The Enbridge Viking pump station also receives oil from the Alberta Clipper (aka Line 67 pipeline) that carries heavy crude oil and tar sands bitumen from the Alberta tar sands region south from Hardisty to Superior, Wisconsin and refineries in the midwestern United States. It is unclear whether the product that spilled was tar sands-derived diluted bitumen. According to a link provided by Enbridge subsequent to this story's original posting, Line 2 begins in Edmonton and carries petroleum products, including crude oil, from Edmonton to Superior. Both lines pass through the Viking pump station.  

The U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center website reports the details of the incident, which happened last night:  
“1044848”,”1044848”,”1044848”,”INCIDENT”,”23-APR-2013 17:09”,”THE CALLER REPORTED THAT A LEAK ON A PRESSURE TRANSMITTER RESULTED IN A RELEASE OF CRUDE OIL.”,”FIXED”,”EQUIPMENT FAILURE”,”23-APR-2013 15:45”,”18060 203TH ST NW”,”MN”,”VIKING”,”MARSHALL”,”ENBRIDGE ENERGY”,”SOIL”,”OIL: CRUDE

DeSmog was alerted by the Indigenous Environmental Network, which is en route to the spill site to gather more information. Stay tuned for updates to this post below.
 
**This story originally reported that Enbridge Line 67 tar sands pipeline suffered the leak, but Enbridge subsequently confirmed the spill was on Line 2. DeSmog regrets the error.**


Enbridge was warned earlier this month by the National Energy Board that the company “is not abiding by federal safety standards at 117 pumping stations along its extensive crude oil network in Canada, putting the safety of the public at risk.”

The Line 2 leak has stopped and Enbridge is working on cleanup operations now. The spill does not appear to have reached water. For more details, visit http://enbridgeus.com/Viking/.

Similar to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline battle, Enbridge is currently seeking a Presidential Permit from President Barack Obama to expand the capacity of the Alberta Clipper Line 67 where it crosses the international border. The Alberta Clipper pipeline currently transports approximately 450,000 bpd of crude oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to the midwestern U.S.

The Calgary Herald reported in June 2011 about Line 2 (emphasis added):

“Enbridge's Line 6 pipeline, linking Griffith, Ind. to Sarnia, Ont., was shut down temporarily by American regulators last July following a rupture and spillage of more than 3 million litres of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Mich. Three months later, the National Energy Board, which was monitoring the U.S. investigation, quietly ordered a 20 per cent pressure reduction on Enbridge's Line 2 Canadian pipeline, which links Edmonton to Superior, Wis., along sections that contained pre-1970s flash-welded pipe.”

DeSmog has confirmed at least two previous spills on Line 2, one in Minnesota in 2004 that spilled over 1,000 barrels and another in North Dakota in 2010 that spilled over 3,000 barrels

Reuters reported in 2011 (emphasis added): 

Canadian regulators ordered Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO) to cut pressure on its 440,000 barrel per day Line 2 last October after raising concerns that the company might not be able to detect cracks in the oil pipelineThe National Energy Board's order remains in effect. It restricts the pipeline, which runs from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, to operating at 80 percent of normal pressure, according to documents provided by the regulator. The board said it was concerned that Enbridge might not be able to consistently identify cracks in pipes laid before the 1970s using flash-welding techniques.”

Here is the incident report on the Line 2 spill on April 23, 2013, pasted directly from the Coast Guard National Response Center website: 

NATIONAL RESPONSE CENTER 1-800-424-8802
*** For Public Use ***
Information released to a third party shall comply with any
applicable federal and/or state Freedom of Information and Privacy Laws

Incident Report # 1044848

INCIDENT DESCRIPTION

*Report taken at 17:09 on 23-APR-13
Incident Type: FIXED
Incident Cause: EQUIPMENT FAILURE
Affected Area:
The incident was discovered on 23-APR-13 at 15:45 local time.
Affected Medium: SOIL   
____________________________________________________________________________
SUSPECTED RESPONSIBLE PARTY
Organization:         ENBRIDGE ENERGY                         
                      BEMIBJI, MN 

Type of Organization: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE
____________________________________________________________________________
INCIDENT LOCATION
18060 203TH ST NW County: MARSHALL
City: VIKING State: MN

____________________________________________________________________________
RELEASED MATERIAL(S)
CHRIS Code: OIL    Official Material Name: OIL: CRUDE
Also Known As:  
Qty Released: 600 GALLON(S)           
________________________________________________________________________
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
THE CALLER REPORTED THAT A LEAK ON A PRESSURE TRANSMITTER RESULTED IN A RELEASE OF  CRUDE OIL.
____________________________________________________________________________
INCIDENT DETAILS
Package: N/A
Building ID:
Type of Fixed Object: OTHER
Power Generating Facility: NO
Generating Capacity:
Type of Fuel:
NPDES:
NPDES Compliance: UNKNOWN
____________________________________________________________________________
DAMAGES
Fire Involved: NO   Fire Extinguished: UNKNOWN
INJURIES:     NO   Hospitalized:      Empl/Crew:      Passenger:   
FATALITIES:    NO   Empl/Crew:      Passenger:      Occupant:   
EVACUATIONS:   NO   Who Evacuated:      Radius/Area:    
Damages:   NO 
Length of  Direction of
Closure Type  Description of Closure  Closure  Closure
Air:            
N    
Major  Artery:
Road:   N          
N
Waterway:   N      
Track:   N         
Passengers Transferred: NO                                        
Environmental Impact: UNKNOWN                                     
Media Interest: NONE  Community Impact due to Material:           
____________________________________________________________________________
REMEDIAL ACTIONS
CLEAN UP UNDERWAY
Release Secured: YES
Release Rate:
Estimated Release Duration:
____________________________________________________________________________
WEATHER
Weather: CLEAR, ºF                                                
____________________________________________________________________________
ADDITIONAL AGENCIES NOTIFIED
Federal:   
State/Local:   
State/Local On Scene:   
State Agency Number:   
____________________________________________________________________________
NOTIFICATIONS BY NRC
ATLANTIC STRIKE TEAM (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
CGIS RAO ST. LOUIS (COMMAND CENTER)
23-APR-13  17:14
DOT CRISIS MANAGEMENT CENTER (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
U.S. EPA V (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:15
MN BUREAU OF CRIMINAL APPREHENSION (OPERATIONS CENTER)
23-APR-13  17:14
MN DEPT OF HEALTH (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
MN U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COORD CTR (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
NOAA RPTS FOR MN (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
NATIONAL RESPONSE CENTER HQ (AUTOMATIC REPORTS)
23-APR-13  17:14
DOI/OEPC DENVER (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
USCG DISTRICT 8 (MAIN OFFICE)
23-APR-13  17:14
____________________________________________________________________________
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
 
___________________________________________________________________________
*** END INCIDENT REPORT #   1044848  ***  
  

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