Enbridge handled oil spill like "Keystone Kops": NTSB
By Russ Blinch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Enbridge's massive oil pipeline spill in Michigan in 2010 was caused by a complete breakdown of company safety measures, while its employees performed like "Keystone Kops" trying to contain it, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday.
The rupture of Enbridge's pipeline spilled more than 20,000 barrels of heavy crude into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in July, 2010.
"This investigation identified a complete breakdown of safety at Enbridge," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in a statement.
"Their employees performed like Keystone Kops and failed to recognize their pipeline had ruptured and continued to pump crude into the environment."
The NTSB said the main failure of the pipeline was due to multiple small "corrosion-fatigue cracks" that grew over time to create a breach in the pipe over 80 inches long.
The rupture, which spilled crude unchecked for 17 hours, has raised concern about pipeline safety in North America, including Enbridge's planned oilsands pipeline from Alberta to the British Columbia coast, as well as TransCanada's Keystone pipeline in the United States.
"How can we trust Enbridge to build two pipelines safely across nearly 800 rivers and streams in Alberta and British Columbia?" asked Nikki Skuce at ForestEthics Advocacy, an environmental group. "This company cannot be trusted with our wild salmon rivers."
Enbridge said in a statement it believed its personnel were trying to do the "right thing" at the time. Continued...