A devastating spill in 2010 into the Kalamazoo River in neighboring Michigan from an Enbridge company tar sand pipeline revealed weak regulations and high risks for moving the toxic, oily goo - - "dilbit" to insiders - -from Canada to the US, and there are plans to move even greater quantities across Wisconsin and over the critical US Ogallala Aquifer from the Dakotas to the Gulf of Mexico, says this report in The New York Times.
After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts...No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.The 2010 spill could have been worse if it had reached Lake Michigan, as authorities originally feared it might. Lake Michigan supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people. Fortunately, the damage was restricted to a tributary creek and about 36 miles of the Kalamazoo, used primarily for recreation, not drinking water.This close call hasn’t deterred the energy industry from announcing plans to build or repurpose more than 10,000 miles of pipelines to carry dilbit to the United States and global markets. That includes the controversial Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline, which would pass through the Ogallala aquifer, the nation’s largest drinking water aquifer.