Enbridge Spills Again. Is it Tar Sands?

An oiled blue heron was among the wildlife victims of Enbridge’s massive 2010 tar sands spill into the Kalamazoo River. Image from USFWS & MIDEQ

Enbridge, the company that spilled a million gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River two years ago this week, and that the National Transportation Safety Board likened to the “Keystone Kops” of pipeline safety, has reportedly just spilled another 1200 barrels. This time from its line 14 in Wisconsin according to Reuters.

Little is known about the spill and whether any significant damage occurred.  The NTSB is reportedly on the scene.

One critical question is whether what spilled was tar sands oil?  The thick heavy crude is more toxic and corrosive than conventional oil, and is believed to corrode pipelines more  often and quicker.  There are conflicting media reports that the pipeline sometimes carries tar sands.   The controversial Keystone XL pipeline under consideration by the U.S. State Department would carry the same crude.

The National Academy of Sciences has begun an investigation into just how corrosive tar sands is to pipelines.  The NAS panel heard testimony from NWF and our partners this past week.

Just this past week, NWF was also highly critical of Enbridge, releasing a report blasting the oil giant for spilling more than 800 times in the U.S. and Canada since 1999.

You can take action to protect wildlife and stop the mad rush to exploit risky tar sands by telling the State Department not to approve Keystone XL . Click here to to learn more.