Unpaid fines, leaks and spills at volumes beyond worst case scenarios for Enbridge Inc.
On June 19, a flange gasket joining two sections of an Enbridge pipeline broke, spewing 230,000 litres of oil sands bitumen from a 12-year old pumping station near Elk Point, Alberta – just two hours due east of Bruderheim.
In fact, Enbridge has had more than 600 recorded leaks and breaks over the last decade.
One of those occurred in January 2010, in the rustic 437-person town of Neche, North Dakota. Located less than two kilometres south of the Manitoba border, the farming community saw 47,000 litres of oil leak into their farmland when Enbridge's pipeline cracked.
But this accident paled in comparison to the company's Cheecham, Alberta spill – one year earlier. After a small-diametre Enbridge pipe broke, oil began spurting skyward into the surrounding area. The accident, Enbridge claimed, was too small to have registered in its pipeline monitoring system.