You are herePolaris Institute statement regarding Enbrige's Michigan oil spill

Polaris Institute statement regarding Enbrige's Michigan oil spill

By richard - Posted on 30 July 2010

July 28, 2010--The news of an Enbridge pipeline spilling 20,000 barrels (3 million litres) of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands into a tributary of Lake Michigan is disturbing, but sadly not surprising.

Enbridge has a questionable track record across Canada and United States of recurring pipeline leaks that have caused serious environmental damage and harm to workers. Between 1999 and 2008, across all of Enbridge’s operations there were 610 spills that released close to 132,000 barrels (21 million litres) of hydrocarbons into the environment. This amounts to approximately half of the oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez after it struck a rock in Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1988.

The recent spill in Michigan is the largest spill to occur on an Enbridge pipeline in the United States in the last ten years. Enbridge’s largest spill in Canada in the same time period occurred in Alberta in 2001 when 23,900 barrels (3.8 million litres) spilled into the environment.

The Michigan spill should be wake-up call for those who would allow Enbridge to build two 1,1 70 kilometer pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to the B.C. coast. The question is not ‘if’ a catastrophic spill will occur on this route, but ‘when’.