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Tar Sands Oil & Michigan Pipelines (Part 1)

Tar Sands Oil & Michigan Pipelines (Part 1)

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Dick Denuyl and his neighbor, Tom Philp, live along the St. Clair River. Philp is a pipeline inspector. (Photo by Suzy Vuljevic)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 05/24/2011

Summary:
The pipeline break that spilled more than 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River last summer is still being cleaned up. It has left some Michigan residents with questions about the safety of sending heavy crude oil through those lines. In part one of our series on regulating pipelines, Julie Grant looks at concerns about inspections in Michigan:

Dick Denuyl is a retired school teacher in Marysville. When he bought his home along the St. Clair River, he loved the beautiful setting. And he wasn’t worried about the pipelines running under the water.

“I really never gave it much of a thought, until the one in California blew up, the high pressure gas line, destroyed a city block. And then the one, the Enbridge pipeline that broke and polluted the Kalamazoo river.”

The official cause of the Kalamazoo River oil spill is still under federal investigation. Enbridge officials say they also found a 12-inch dent in that same pipeline, this time in a section under the St. Clair River. Company spokesperson Lorraine Grymala says the dent did not cause any problems:

“Based on the internal inspection data, there really wasn’t, we were not concerned it was going to be an issue for the line, but it’s better to take more precaution then less, and so we did work to replace that section of the line.”

Actually, the federal government ordered Enbridge to replace that section of the pipeline. The company says the work will be complete by the end of June.

Dick Denuyl’s neighbor in Marysville is a pipeline inspector. Tom Philp does inspections for a company called Nova Chemicals. Philp says when he’s inspecting the Nova pipeline, he walks a few miles from his house along the St. Clair River to an oil refinery.



Environment Report story: Oil Lingers in Kalamazoo River

Environment Report story: Health Concerns After Oil Spill

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