ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Enbridge, a beleaguered Canadian oil pipeline company, has spilled more than 50,000 gallons of light crude oil in rural Wisconsin — shortly after the company said it had implemented safety reforms after a massive 2010 spill in Michigan.
Officials for Alberta-based Enbridge Inc., one of the United States’ most vital suppliers of Canadian oil, said Friday’s spill has been contained by cleanup workers, who are now trying to repair and restart the 24-inch pipeline known as Line 14, which carries more than 300,000 barrels a day.
The incident is another black mark for an ambitious energy company ridiculed earlier this month by U.S. safety officials, who likened Enbridge workers to the Keystone Kops. The comparison came after an investigation of a broken pipeline that released more than 800,000 gallons of heavy crude near Marshall, Mich. — one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history and certainly the most expensive.
The new spill, in sparsely populated Adams County, Wis., forced the evacuation of two homes. It is the company’s worst spill since the 2010 disaster, and it drew the ire of U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee.
“Enbridge is fast becoming to the Midwest what BP was to the Gulf of Mexico, posing troubling risks to the environment,” Markey said in a statement. “The company must be forthcoming about this entire incident, and deserves a top-to-bottom review of their safety culture, procedures and standards.”