As clean-up of the central Wisconsin oil spill continues, environmental groups are raising concerns about pipeline safety.
The U.S. EPA is overseeing clean-up of the 50,000 gallons of oil that spilled from a pipeline near Grand Marsh last Friday afternoon. Clean-up supervisor Richard Karl says contaminated soil in a farm pasture is still being removed, and the EPA is checking to see if groundwater has been polluted.
The North Dakota oil boom is heading to Wisconsin and points south. Enbridge Pipeline company will increase the flow of crude oil from there through Superior by about 40%.
This $360 million project will increase the flow of crude from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota and western Canada from 275,000 barrels per day to almost 400,000 barrels per day. And they’ll do it without laying new pipeline. Instead, they’ll increase pumping power from stations in North Dakota, Minnesota and add two huge holding tanks in Superior.
Environmental groups say Wisconsin and some other Midwest states are lagging in their regulation of underground pipelines.
The Enbridge Corporation's massive oil spill from a Michigan pipeline in 2010 prompted a study of state and federal pipeline regulations. Study author Sara Gosman teaches at the University of Michigan law school and works for the National Wildlife Federation. Gosman says Wisconsin has several holes in its regulation structure.