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Council of Canadians opposes Calumet-Elkhorn plan to ship oil on the Great Lakes

Andrew Slade, the program coordinator for Minnesota Environmental Partnership, pointedly asks, “Will a dock project in Superior be the next front in the global fossil-fuel war?” A plan to build a $25 million oil shipping dock in Superior, Wisconsin on the western tip of Lake Superior could be the launch point for oil shipments across the Great Lakes to refineries in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and even the East Coast.

Proposed oil terminal  Lake Superior

He gives us this timeline background:

– “In January, Calumet Specialty Products announced it was considering an oil-shipping terminal on the harbor in Superior. The facility would be able to load one oil tanker or barge every four days for shipment to eastern markets through the Great Lakes.” A tanker would hold about 77,000 barrels of crude oil, while a barge would hold about 110,000 barrels. This has also been reported as 13 million barrels a year.

– “The same week, Elkhorn Industries submitted a permit application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for rehabilitation of its dock at the former Georgia Pacific site at Connors Point. An old 6-inch pipeline (built in the 1950s) connects the refinery and the dock and runs north along Superior’s Hill Avenue and past the Mariner Mall, the YMCA, and 10 residential blocks.”

– “In September, the manager of Calumet’s Superior refinery told Wisconsin Public Radio that without a partner refinery on the East Coast, the terminal project was ‘on hold’. A sigh of relief went through the local environmental community.” But Slade cautions strongly that “on hold is a lot different from abandoned” and highlights that, “Elkhorn and Calumet appear to be all-systems-go for the dock project”.

– “On Tuesday afternoon the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public informational hearing at the Superior Public Library. Wisconsin DNR officials are expected to explain the permitting process and a representative of Elkhorn is expected to explain the project.”

The Tuesday November 26 meeting will take place at the Superior Public Library from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. The deadline for written comments on Elkhorn’s proposed dock project is December 6 and can be submitted to the Wisconsin DNR through Steven.LaValley@wisconsin.gov. The Council of Canadians opposes the Calumet and Elkhorn plan to ship tar sands crude on the Great Lakes and we will be conveying our opposition to the Wisconsin DNR.

Further reading

13 million barrels of tar sands crude could be shipped annually on Lake Superior
Calumet ‘plugging away on permits’ for Great Lakes oil shipments
Oil shipments on the Great Lakes, now and to come
Detroit Free Press opposes Alberta Clipper expansion, shipments on Lake Superior
Campaign against oil barges on the Great Lakes