U.S., Enbridge reach settlement after 2010 oil spills in Michigan

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice have announced a settlement with Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership and several related Enbridge companies to resolve claims stemming from its 2010 oil spills in Marshall, Mich. and Romeoville, Ill. Enbridge has agreed to spend at least $110 million on a series of measures to prevent spills and improve operations across nearly 2,000 miles of its pipeline system in the Great Lakes region. Enbridge will also pay civil penalties totaling $62 million for Clean Water Act violations -- $61 million for discharging at least 20,082 barrels of oil in Marshall and $1 million for at least 6,427 barrels of oil in Romeoville.

In addition, the proposed settlement will resolve Enbridge’s liability under the Oil Pollution Act, based on Enbridge’s commitment to pay over $5.4 million in unreimbursed costs incurred by the government in connection with cleanup of the Marshall spill, as well as all future removal costs incurred by the government in connection with that spill. The settlement includes an extensive set of specific requirements to prevent spills and enhance leak detection capabilities throughout Enbridge’s Lakehead pipeline system - a network of 14 pipelines spanning nearly 2,000 miles across seven states. Enbridge must also take major actions to improve its spill preparedness and emergency response programs. Under the settlement, Enbridge must also replace close to 300 miles of one of its pipelines, after obtaining all necessary approvals.

“This agreement puts in place advanced leak detection and monitoring requirements to make sure a disaster like this one doesn’t happen again,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compli-
ance Assurance. "This comprehensive program – including an independent third party to audit compliance – will protect waterways and the people who depend on them."

“This settlement will make the delivery of our nation’s energy resources safer and more environmentally responsible,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Enbridge has already reimbursed the government for $57.8 million in cleanup costs from the Marshall spill and $650,000 for cleanup costs from the Romeoville spill, and Enbridge reportedly incurred costs in excess of $1 billion for required cleanup activities.

To learn more about this settlement, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/enbridge-clean-water-act-settlement.