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Enbridge to pay $1 million for pollution violations

Enbridge Energy will pay a $1 million fine to settle allegations of Wisconsin air pollution law violations at the company's storage terminal in Superior. The settlement was announced Thursday by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and invo...

Enbridge
The Enbridge terminal in Superior handles crude oil, diluting agents, condensates and natural gas liquids that come and leave in pipelines. (2006 file / Superior Telegram)
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Enbridge Energy will pay a $1 million fine to settle allegations of

Wisconsin air pollution law violations at the company's storage terminal in Superior.

The settlement was announced Thursday by Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and involved myriad alleged violations dating to 2001.

Joanne Kloppenburg, assistant state attorney general, said Enbridge failed to maintain proper seals, gaskets and other items on storage tanks and other facilities at the Superior terminal,

potentially allowing large amounts of evaporating chemicals into the air.

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"The tanks hold oil and other petroleum products that can volatilize, and that can emit large amounts of pollution into the air," Kloppenburg said.

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 and leave in pipelines. The facility also stores crude oil and condensates.

Kloppenburg said Enbridge has since worked with the Department of Natural Resources to resolve the violations, including undertaking a comprehensive air evaluation of the tanks.

"They have really stepped up to the plate to solve the problems," she said.

Lorraine Grymala, Enbridge spokeswoman, said the company self-reported many of the violations to the DNR.

"Since then, we've conducted a thorough audit of our facility and taken corrective actions to resolve any issues," she said.

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The complaint was filed Sept. 24 in Madison and a settlement agreement signed by the company and attorney general was dated the same day, although negotiations on the violations had been in the works for months. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter C. Anderson approved the settlement.

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENTSUPERIOR
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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