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Enbridge agrees to $1 million fine for Superior air pollution

Enbridge Energy has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution laws over violations at its storage terminal in Superior.

Enbridge Energy has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution laws over violations at its storage terminal in Superior.

The settlement was announced today by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. An Enbridge spokeswoman did not immediately return a reporter's phone call.

According to the Department of Justice, Enbridge violated state air requirements at various times since 2001 by operating the terminal without the proper air pollution control operation permit; starting construction without a construction permit; failing to repair seals on storage tanks and to report the repairs in a timely manner; failing to conduct timely inspections of the internal floating roofs on the tanks; maintaining noncompliant stack dimensions, noncompliant tank seals, noncompliant operation of automatic bleeder vents and ungasketed fittings on the tanks; failing to maintain up-to-date design drawings and tank documentation; and underpaying air emission fees.

The Enbridge terminal handles crude oil, diluting agents, condensates and natural gas liquids that come in and leave in pipelines. The facility also stores crude oil and condensates.

State officials said Enbridge has since worked with the Department of Natural Resources to resolve the violations, including undertaking a comprehensive air evaluation of the tanks and associated components and emissions at its facility and instituting procedures to ensure future environmental compliance.

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"The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's citizens and natural resources are protected through compliance with the law,'' Van Hollen said in a press release.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson approved the settlement.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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