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Thursday, July 12, 2012

2010 oil spill from an Enbridge pipeline in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

On Tuesday, the US Transportation Safety Board released a report on a 2010 oil spill from an Enbridge pipeline in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

For 17 hours, bitumen from the Alberta oil sands poured from the pipe, spilling at least 3.2 million litres of oil with devastating impact.
I wanted to share what the Board's chair said today:
"On that July evening, at about 6 p.m. when many people in Marshall were sitting down to dinner, Enbridge's Line 6B ruptured and began spewing crude oil through a more than six-and-a-half-foot-long fracture.
"For more than 17 hours and over three shifts, the people controlling the pipeline did not respond to the alarms, pressure differentials or even follow one of their own safety procedures established following another catastrophic release in 1991 in Grand Rapids.
"The people of Marshall would finish their dinners, get ready for the week ahead and go to bed. As they slept, and even when they got up on Monday morning, instead of stopping the flow, Enbridge staff twice pumped more oil - about 81 percent of the total release - into the ruptured pipeline.
"It wasn't until late Monday morning - 17 hours and 19 minutes after the rupture - that a worker from a local gas utility found the spill and notified the Enbridge control center. Then, and only then, did the Enbridge staff begin their response and start closing remote valves upstream and downstream of the rupture.
"Learning about Enbridge's poor handling of the rupture, you can't help but think of the Keystone Kops."
It's a damning indictment. 
And it highlights the enormous risks BC would take on if Enbridge is allowed to build the proposed pipeline here in BC and oil tankers are allowed on our north and central coasts.
But you can do something about that.
  please sign our letter opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline right now.

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