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Enbridge didn't report extent of spill to Wisconsin regulators for more than a year

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Wisconsin regulators are investigating why it took Enbridge Energy more than a year to report the full extent of a petroleum product spill.

Enbridge did report a spill of 1.3 gallons of from a valve in its Line 13 pipeline, 30 miles southeast of Madison in April of 2019.

Fifteen months later, Enbridge reported a different amount.

“Later after they had a chance to do more investigative work and to reevaluate the situation, they revised that estimate up to about somewhere between about 12 and 14 hundred gallons,” said Steven Martin, a regional team supervisor for the Remediation and Redevelopment Program with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Martin says the Wisconsin DNR is conducting an internal investigation.

“We’re looking at those circumstances regarding the timing and the volumes, discussing it with Enbridge and also looking internally at what was done. But, we’re still trying to get to the bottom of exactly how this all transpired.”

Martin says Enbridge, did take corrective action and sampled nearby wells for petroleum products. The Wisconsin DNR has asked Enbridge to sample other drinking water wells and put more monitoring wells in place.

In a statement, the Canadian pipeline company said in part, “Enbridge continues to actively investigate this situation. Groundwater monitoring within 1,200 feet of the site is ongoing. We are working with local landowners and the Wisconsin DNR as our response and remediation proceeds.”

Editor's Note: Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio’s corporate sponsors.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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