PHMSA gives Enbridge final approval to restart Line 6B after Michigan spill, pipeline repair

By Phaedra Friend Troy

US regulatory group Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has approved the restart of the Enbridge Energy Partners-operated (NYSE:EEP) Line 6B crude oil pipeline following an oil leak, clean-up and pipeline repair in Michigan.

After a gash in the crude oil line resulted in an oil spill that reached the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Michigan, Enbridge shut-down the pipeline and began cleaning the spilled oil. The company has been working with authorities to investigate the cause of the accident, as well as work to put the major crude oil transport system back in operation.

The damaged section of the Line 6B was removed, and a new pipeline section has been welded into place.

The restart plan has been approved by the PHMSA, and the pipeline restart is expected to commence on the morning of Monday, Sept. 27, 2010.

One of two Lakehead pipelines that leaked oil this summer, Line 6B is a 30-inch-diameter, 283,000-barrel-per-day pipeline that transports light synthetics and heavy and medium crude oil from Griffith, Indiana, to Sarnia, Ontario.

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