WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. pipeline regulator proposed small fines Thursday on Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO), a company that has suffered two recent high profile oil spills, for inspection violations at a crude line in Ohio.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration proposed to fine Enbridge $69,000 for failing to adequately inspect surface conditions near a valve on a 16-inch crude pipeline that runs from Michigan to Oregon.
PHMSA has taken a tougher stance on pipeline companies after recent high profile pipeline leaks including an Enbridge leak of 20,000 barrels into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in 2010. In July Enbridge shut down its Line 14, which brings Canadian crude to Chicago area refiners, after a leak of about 1,200 barrels.
In a letter sent Thursday to Richard Adams, a vice president of U.S. operations for Enbridge, the regulator said some aerial inspections done by the company were inadequate because parts of the line were overgrown with small trees and brush.
Enbridge did not immediately return requests for comment. The company has said previously it has had a 99.999 percent success rate in delivering 12 billion barrels over the past decade and is investing $800 million this year as it strives for a perfect record.
Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Steve Orlofsky