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125 barrels of oil spill from Line 67 at Regina pumping station

The Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline (Line 67) runs 1600-kilometres from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin on Lake Superior. The current flow of the pipeline is 440,000 barrels per day. Enbridge has received the federal, provincial and municipal permits to increase the flow to 570,000 bpd and says that will be in-service by July 2014. In August 2013, Enbridge sought permission to increase the capacity of the pipeline again, this time to 800,000 bpd.

Alberta Clipper Pipeline Route

Reuters reports, “Enbridge Inc said on Saturday that it had shut down its Alberta Clipper pipeline, the largest source of U.S. oil imports, after an oil spill at a Saskatchewan pump station. The estimated 125 barrel spill was mostly limited to the Rowatt pump station, located south of Regina, though some windborne oil sprayed onto the property of a nearby landowner, said Enbridge spokesman Graham White. …(He also noted) that the estimated size of the spill is preliminary and could change.” Bloomberg adds, “There was no wildlife, water or public impacts from the spill, (White) said.” And RTT News notes this morning, “Line 67 was restarted just before 9:20 p.m. local time.”

This is not the first spill from Line 67. On April 24, 2013, about 19 barrels (600 gallons of oil) was spilled from the pipeline in Viking, Minnesota.

The Detroit Free Press has commented, “Line 67 ends at Superior, Wis., on the western tip of Lake Superior. There, the pipeline joins with a distribution network that carries diluted bitumen, or dilbit, through the Midwest and beyond. It’s perilously close to Lake Superior. In light of Enbridge’s track record, that’s a problem. It was an Enbridge pipeline that broke in 2010, spilling dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, Talmadge Creek and the wetlands around Marshall; that’s the same product that’s moved through Line 67.”

The Council of Canadians has been opposing Line 67 since 2009.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has stated, “The expansion of the Alberta Clipper is going to increase the development of the tar sands and spell disaster for water sources, climate change and public health. We need to reduce emissions to avoid catastrophe. There is no public process for this expansion project despite the impacts it’s going to have, especially on the Great Lakes. If we want to prevent projects like this from putting our water at risk, communities need to speak out.”

It has been argued that the expansion of Line 67 is the linchpin of the plan by Superior, Wisconsin-based refiner Calumet Specialties to ship 13 million barrels per year of crude oil across Lake Superior and through the Great Lakes on barges.

Further reading
Blockade challenges Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline
Detroit Free Press opposes Alberta Clipper expansion, shipments on Lake Superior
LaDuke opposes Line 67 pipeline