Snyder says no
The governor, it turns out, may have a mind of his own
Published: July 11, 2012
"We were feeling like Sisyphus pushing a rock up a hill," BenDor told us. "The vetoes came as a very pleasant surprise."
In another update to a recent MT cover story ("Crude awakening," June 27), the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed a record-setting $3.7 million fine for Enbridge Energy, the owner of a pipeline that ruptured near Marshall two years ago, spilling an estimated 800,000 to 1 million gallons of Canadian tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.
The federal investigation found "multiple violations of its hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations related to integrity management, failure to follow operations and maintenance procedures, and reporting and operator qualification requirements," according to a government press release.
Among other things, PHMSA is accusing Enbridge of failing to repair multiple problems, including corrosion and possible cracks, found in the pipeline before it ruptured. Some of those flaws were detected as far back as 2004, the administration alleges.
The investigation also found that the company continued pumping the highly toxic form of crude oil through the pipeline after warnings of a leak had been sounded, worsening the scope of the catastrophe. As a result, a 38-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River was contaminated. The company has spent upward of $700 million to clean up the spill.
"We appreciate the hard work and due diligence of PHMSA and others who are investigating this incident," Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum said in a statement released to media last week. "We have worked closely and cooperatively with all federal and state agencies ... throughout the investigation of the Line 6B accident, and are now reviewing the [report] in detail. We will not comment specifically on the contents of the [report] until that analysis is complete."
News Hits was written by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com.
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