Groups seek tough conditions on Enbridge pipeline

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm •  Published: February 5, 2013

"If construction is done property those resources can be protected, but if it's a rush job, it has the potential to really negatively impact them," he said.

The Indiana pipeline project is part of Enbridge's $1.6 billion project to replace the entirety of a 286-mile-long pipeline that runs from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario, to supply expanding refineries with more crude. When complete, the pipeline will have an initial capacity of 500,000 barrels per day, more than double the current pipeline's capacity.

Enbridge said in a statement that it will have environmental inspectors assigned to the Indiana project to ensure compliance with its permit conditions and that it's not opposed to being required to hire independent environmental monitors.

Enbridge also said its new pipeline will have leak-detecting pressure transmitters at every valve.

Last week, Michigan regulators approved the final permit Enbridge needed to replace a total of 160 miles of oil pipeline in Michigan.

But Indiana regulators and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are still reviewing Enbridge's requests for Clean Water Act permits to install the new 36-inch diameter pipeline in Indiana. The old 30-inch pipeline, installed in the late 1960s, will be shut down, drained and sealed.

The Army Corps hasn't made a final decision on a permit or the conditions for the Indiana project, said Andrew Blackburn, a regulatory specialist with the Corps.

Marty Maupin, a wetlands specialist with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said the agency is mindful of Enbridge's past spills as it considers the company's request for water quality certification for the project.

"We're certainly aware that Enbridge has had some issues in the past, especially in Michigan. And we are reviewing their project to the best of our ability to ensure it will not cause problems in Indiana," he said.