Excerpt from the Wikipedia page for Enbridge, Northern Gateway pipeline’s principal architect…
Using data from Enbridge‘s own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that 804 spills occurred on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010. These spills released approximately 168,645 barrels (26,812.4 m3) of hydrocarbons into the environment.
On July 4, 2002 an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in a marsh near the town of Cohasset, Minnesota in Itasca County, spilling 6,000 barrels (950 m3) of crude oil. In an attempt to keep the oil from contaminating the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources set a controlled burn that lasted for 1 day and created a smoke plume about 1-mile (1.6 km) high and 5 miles (8.0 km) long.
In 2006, there were 67 reportable spills totaling 5,663 barrels (900.3 m3) on Enbridge‘s energy and transportation and distribution system; in 2007, there were 65 reportable spills totaling 13,777 barrels (2,190.4 m3)
On March 18, 2006, approximately 613 barrels (97.5 m3) of crude oil were released when a pump failed at Enbridge‘s Willmar terminal in Saskatchewan. According to Enbridge, roughly half the oil was recovered, the remainder contributing to ‘off-site’ impacts.
On January 1, 2007 an Enbridge pipeline that runs from Superior, Wisconsin to near Whitewater, Wisconsin cracked open and spilled ~50,000 US gallons (190 m3) of crude oil onto farmland and into a drainage ditch. The same pipeline was struck by construction crews on February 2, 2007, in Rusk County, Wisconsin, spilling ~126,000 US gallons (480 m3) of crude. Some of the oil filled a hole more than 20 feet (6.1 m) deep and was reported to have contaminated the local water table.
In April 2007, roughly 6,227 barrels (990.0 m3) of crude oil spilled into a field downstream of an Enbridge pumping station near Glenavon, Saskatchewan. Long-term site remediation is being attempted to bring the site to “as close as possible to its original condition”.
In 2009, Enbridge Energy Partners, a US affiliate of Enbridge Inc., agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit brought against the company by the state of Wisconsin for 545 environmental violations.
In a news release from Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said
“…the incidents of violation were numerous and widespread, and resulted in impacts to the streams and wetlands throughout the various watersheds.”[
The violations were incurred while building portions of the company’s Southern Access pipeline, a ~$2.1 billion project to transport crude from the oil sands region in Alberta to Chicago.
In January 2009 an Enbridge pipeline leaked about 4,000 barrels (640 m3) of oil southeast of Fort McMurray at the company’s Cheecham Terminal tank farm. It was reported in the Edmonton Journal that most of the spilled oil was contained within berms, but that about 1% of the oil, about 40 barrels (6.4 m3), sprayed into the air and coated nearby snow and trees.
April 2010 an Enbridge pipeline ruptured spilling more than 1500 litres of oil in Virden, Manitoba, which leaked into the Boghill Creek which eventually connects to the Assiniboine River.
July 2010, a leaking pipeline spilled an estimated 843,444 US gallons (3,192.78 m3) of crude oil into Talmadge Creek leading to the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan on Monday, July 26. On September 9, 2010, a rupture on Enbridge‘s Line 6A pipeline near Romeoville, Illinois released an estimate 6,100 barrels (970 m3) of oil into the surrounding area.
“And the award for ‘Most Ironic Award Recipient for Environmental Sensitivity’ goes to…”
Ironically, as noted on its own website, Enbridge has suffered no shortage of industry and other awards and accolades in a variety of categories including “green-friendly” ones, including: ”many CSR-related awards and recognition in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Criteria such as financial health; environmental performance; workplace health, safety and fairness; community relations; and public disclosure were considered in the following awards:
- 100 Most Trustworthy Companies (Enbridge Energy Partners), 2010.
- Alberta’s Top Employers, 2008, 2009, 2010.
- Alberta’s Most Respected Corporations (Alberta Venture) — Financial Performance, 2010.
- Best Utility-Scale Project in North America, (Sarnia Solar Project), 2010.
- Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures (Waterstone Human Capital), 2009.
- Canada’s Greenest Employers, 2010.
- Canada’s Top 100 Employers, 2008, 2009, 2010.
- City of Toronto Environmental Award of Excellence (Green Toronto Awards),
- Conference Board of Canada Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index, 2008.
- Corporate Knights Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada, 2008, 2009, 2010.
- Corporate Knights Global 100 list - Most Sustainable Large Corporations in World, 2010.
- Dow Jones Sustainability Index (North America), 2008, 2009, 2010.
- EnerQuality Corporation Award of Excellence, Industry Partner of the Year, 2008,
- Financial Post’s Ten Best Companies to Work For, 2010.
- Forbes.com Most Trustworthy Companies, 2009, for accounting and governance practices.
- Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies, 2008 and 2009.
- FTSE4Good Index. The Financial Times (and London) Stock Exchange (FTSE) .
- Gold Champion Level Reporter (Canadian Standards Association, 2008, 2009).
- Governance Metrics International, 2008.
- Houston Chronicle 100, 2008.
- Human Resources Institute of Alberta, Alberta’s Top Employers, 2008 and 2009.
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Aboriginal Relations — Best Practice Award of Distinction, 2008
- Intranet Design Annual 2010: The Year’s 10 Best Intranets, 2010.
- Jantzi-Sustainalytics 50 Most Responsible Corporations in Canada, 2008, 2010. Natural Gas STAR for Continuing Excellence,(U.S. E.P.A.), 2009.
- Natural Gas STAR International Partner of the Year Award, 2009.
- Outstanding Corporate and Employee Campaign Award 2010.
- Pollution Probe’s Annual Clean Air Commute, 2008.
- Toronto Star, “Greenest Companies in Canada,” 2009,
- Canadian Energy Pipeline Association Safety Awards, 2008, 2009.
- National Safety Council MillionWork Hours Award (Liquids Pipelines).
- National Safety Council Occupational Excellence Achievement Award 2008.
- National Safety Council Perfect Record Award (Liquids Pipelines) 2009.
- Wisconsin Safety Council (WSC) Awards for safety performance in 2009
- Work Safe Alberta 2008 Best Safety Performer Award, 2008.