|U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Contact: Julia Piscitelli
Tel: (202) 366-4831
DOT FINES ENBRIDGE $2.4 MILLION FOR SAFETY VIOLATIONS
Department requires company to revise safety procedures, properly train workers
The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced more than $2.4 million in fines against Enbridge Energy Partners, LP for violations of federal pipeline safety regulations. On Nov. 28, 2007, two Enbridge employees were killed when repairs to an Enbridge pipeline on their Lakehead system in Clearbrook, Minn. caused leaking crude oil to ignite.
An extensive accident investigation conducted by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) found Enbridge failed to safely and adequately perform maintenance and repair activities, clear the designated work area from possible sources of ignition, and hire properly trained and qualified workers. PHMSA's year-long investigation led to issuance of a notice of proposed violation to Enbridge and a subsequent hearing, prior to this final order.
"Safety is the number one priority of this Department," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This Department holds pipeline operators accountable for protecting their own workers as well as the health, welfare and safety of American communities where they operate."
A final order issued today by PHMSA details the violations of federal pipeline safety regulations and imposes the $2,405,000 civil penalty. Enbridge also must revise and implement certain pipeline maintenance and repair procedures, as well as train and requalify its employees.
Civil penalties associated with a final order must be paid within 20 days unless the operator chooses to file a petition requesting that PHMSA reconsider its findings. PHMSA may grant or deny the operator's request without further proceedings.
PHMSA is also issuing two additional final orders to Enbridge today totaling $57,800 in civil penalties for violations identified following inspections at facilities in Houma, La. in 2006 and Cushing, Okla. in 2009. During inspections in Houma, PHMSA discovered failures by Enbridge Offshore Gas Gathering, LLC, to properly monitor for internal corrosion and perform valve maintenance procedures resulting in a civil penalty of $29,000. Inspections at the company's Cushing Terminal facility resulted in a civil penalty of $28,800 for failing to properly inspect in-service breakout tanks.
Enbridge Energy Partners, LP owns and operates liquid petroleum and natural gas transportation businesses with pipelines in 18 states. PHMSA inspectors and their state pipeline safety partners are committed to ensuring the safety of America's pipeline transportation system and will continue to carefully monitor Enbridge Energy's activities.
We are committed to making all of our documents on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) website accessible to everyone. As a result, we work hard to ensure the PHMSA site meets the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. While many of the web pages are generally accessible to individuals who use screen reading software and to those with other vision or mobility impairment, we do have some documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) format that are not currently compatible with some screen reading software. When possible, PHMSA provides an alternative HTML version in addition to the PDF.
The attached documents are in PDF format, click here to download a free viewer. People using screen-reading devices generally are unable to read documents directly in PDF format, unless they have an accessibility plug-in installed on their system along with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. This plug-in is available at NO CHARGE from Adobe. Adobe also has online tools that will convert PDF files to HTML on request. To get the plug-in and latest news about Adobe's accessibility tools and services, visit the Access Adobe site.
If you have problems accessing the PDFs or the information, please contact T'Mia Vines at 202-366-9818 and the information will be provided to you.