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Enbridge Energy to pay $61 million for 2010 spill

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Staff Writer | July 20, 2016
Enbridge Energy Partners signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
Enbridge Energy
Ecology   The Line 6B pipeline in Michigan and 6A in Illinois
The agreement is related to incidents on the Line 6B pipeline in Marshall, Michigan in July 2010, and on the Line 6A pipeline in Romeoville, Illinois in September 2010. The agreement will take effect following a comment period and upon approval by the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

Both Line 6B and Line 6A are part of the Lakehead Pipeline system owned by Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of EEP.

The Decree sets civil penalties under the Clean Water Act of $61 million relating to the Line 6B release and an additional sum of $1 million related to the Line 6A release, each payable within 30 days of the effective date of the Decree.

The amount of the penalties largely had been accrued by EEP and included in previously reported total estimated costs related to the 6B release. EEP has previously resolved claims for natural resource damages, as detailed in the Decree, and in May 2015, signed an agreement with the State of Michigan with respect to mitigation payments.

Enbridge must enhance measures to protect the Straits of Mackinac along the Line 5 Straits Crossing; improve leak detection requirements; install new valves to control product loss in the event of an incident; continue enhancement of control room operations; and enhance spill response capabilities.

The total cost of these measures is estimated to be approximately $110 million throughout the four-year term of the Decree and is already largely incorporated in EEP's operational and capital expense planning.

Pipeline replacement: EEP replaced the entire 285-mile length of Line 6B in 2014.