In late July, a pipeline owned by Enbridge connecting Sarnia, Ontario to Griffith, Ind. ruptured, sending over 800,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan. Last Thursday, another Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Romeoville, a suburb of Chicago, releasing 256,200 gallons of oil. The US Environmental Protection Agency says the leak was stopped Monday.
The cause of the Illinois spill is not yet known, but preliminary reports regarding the earlier Michigan spill show that corrosion may have played a part in the release of oil. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, an agency operating under the US Department of Transportation, told Enbridge in January that the pipeline did not comply with federal regulations. The pipe was manufactured in 1969 and received a dozen federal citations and warnings for safety violations since 2002.
The Midwest spills coincide with a natural gas pipeline that erupted outside San Francisco last week, killing 4 people and destroying over 30 homes. Although the National Transportation Safety Board investigation to root out a cause is ongoing, the agency reports that the pipeline, owned by PG&E Corp. of San Francisco, was built in 1956. The Enbridge pipe in Illinois started operating in 1968.