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Scott Hall Talks with Enbridge Energy on How They React to Oil Spills Now

Associated Press

Our reporter, Scott Hall, recently looked back at the crude oil pipeline rupture that occurred near Grand Rapids in March of 1991.  The oil spilled onto a wetland and through a storm sewer to the Prairie River – about one point seven million gallons in all.   

It was, and still is, the largest oil spill in Minnesota history and the largest inland oil spill in US history.  The size of the oil spill was due in large part to Lakehead Pipeline Company’s delayed response in shutting down the line.  

In the summer of 2010, another crude oil spill of more than a million gallons flowed into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.  About 35 miles of the river was closed for two years during the cleanup. The cleanup cost more than a billion dollars. 

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that employees of the pipeline owner, Enbridge Energy, misunderstood or did not believe the automated alert of the ruptured pipe, and continued to pump oil for seventeen hours before shutting it down. 

The same company, Enbridge Energy, now owns and operated six pipelines carrying oil across northern MN.  Scott Hall asked the Emergency Response Supervisor for Enbridge, Art Haskins, how the company responds to pipeline ruptures now…

Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.