Thursday, June 12, 2014

DNR Gives Bad Actor, Pipeline Expansion A Pass Across WI

[Updated, 9:10 p.m.] This is the company, Enbridge, that has been fined for earlier violations in Wisconsin, trashed the Kalamazoo River in Michigan to the tune of $! billion in cleanup costs, and has run up a horrible record across North America.

Note to the DNR and the company: you're betting on some super, no-fail welding and piping integrity by Enbridge from Superior to Delavan - - at triple the capacity now running beneath hundreds of miles of Wisconsin communities, roads, farms, rivers and wetlands.

That's a big bet. 

Who remembers Jackson, WI not far from Milwaukee? Contaminated wells, a wrecked wetlands - - from a gasoline pipe break, and not a dirty, thick spill of Canadian tar sand crude oil pumped at tremendous volume and capacity.

Two years later, and the Jackson ramifications are not yet over.

And as the Journal Sentinel reports (my interpretation), the DNR's hand-wave to Enbridge came after bad hearing processes (ignoring thousands of emails), on top of kid-gloves' 'review' procedures exaggerated by even worse pro-industry and anti-environmental law and standards:

On Thursday, the DNR said Enbridge had met requirements to issue an air permit, which covered an expansion of storage tank capacity in Superior and emissions from pumps, generators and other equipment. 
As for the potential spill effects, the DNR said that it examined the possibility at the company's terminal in Superior — but no place else along the route of the 42-inch diameter line because it had conducted an environmental analysis along the entire route before the initial approval. 
Enbridge is not proposing additional pipeline construction, but instead is planning to send more oil through its existing line. 
DNR officials also said state law doesn't allow officials to use a company's past operating record when reviewing environmental permits...
[The Sierra Club's Elizabeth] Ward said that the public was "completely cut out of the process," when the DNR decided not to conduct a complete environmental review, and instead considered only an air permit and a previously approved permit to disturb a small number of wetlands. 
By the way, this is what a tar sand ruptured pipeline looked like recently in Arkansas:


Anonymous said...

And your journal communications isn't reporting BOO! about this. The media across the state shields walker from any accountability for his divide-and-conquer politics.

Anonymous said...

I thought there were going to be hearings across the state so those along the route could express their concerns and have input.


No media coverage and these promises are now flushed down the memory hole.

Will Mary Burke make this a campaign issue? Why are the dems asleep at the switch?

James Rowen said...

Some Journal bashers look silly when they say things like this. If you'd read the link you'd have seen it was taken off the Journal Sentinel's Newswatch. Which is where I saw it. Please read the entire posting, including the link.

nonquixote said...

Let's also pay attention to the larger consequences behind Stepp's willingness to turn WI in to an environmental sacrificial zone. All this tar sand petro and gas product is intended for markets in other parts of the world.

James I linked to this diary of yours, over at Blogging Blue. Wider implications than just here in WI, but your piece fits in nicely. Thanks

Anonymous said...

The risk/reward ratio is definitely not in Wisconsin's favor . . .

Anonymous said...

As Walker said, Wisconsin is open - for business. Scott walker is allowing our state resources to be plundered, leaving Wisconsin citizens holding the bag (now and for generations to come)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 7:07 said, "Will Mary Burke make this a campaign issue? Why are the dems asleep at the switch?" Probably not and yes they're asleep. As they always are. The Dem campaign apparatus appears tone deaf to the way in which information it consumed by voters. Short message, simple message, over and over and over and over. Here's a hint "It's NOT working". Walker said 250,000 jobs, but we don't have them - It's not working. Walker said we'd create more business, but we lag the nation - it's not working. Walker said if we just give tax breaks to the "job creators" your life would be better - It's not working. Run those commercials until people are sick of them. Because even if they say they're sick of them they will remember them. It's not rocket science.