Keystone oil spill renews concerns in Wisconsin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Keystone oil spill renews concerns in Wisconsin

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A leak of at least 210,000 gallons of crude oil from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota has environmentalists sounding a warning about the possibility of leaks from a Wisconsin pipeline that carries even more oil from Canada.

Peter Anderson, a member of the environmental group Madison 350, said the Keystone Pipeline leak was all too predictable.

"Here's a pipeline that was built back in 2009, 2010, which they said was going to be the safest and most advanced pipeline in North America. And not even ten years out, it's leaking an enormous amount," said Anderson, who helps coordinate resistance to tar sands oil pipelines.

Keystone has the capacity to carry 700,000 barrels of oil from the Canadian tar sands each day, but Enbridge Energy's Line 61 is equipped to carry nearly twice that amount through Wisconsin to Illinois.

"So, this is a real serious omen, and it really blows the top off of these claims that Enbridge is making that these are the most safest lines possible, because they leak all the time," said Anderson.

Enbridge pipelines have leaked more than 800 times since 1999, but in most cases the amount of oil spilled has been relatively small.

The largest leak came in 2010, when an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan ruptured, pouring nearly one million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

In January 2015, an Enbridge Energy executive told 27 News the company acted quickly to remedy that leak.

"The company paid all costs - federal, state, local, affected landowners - and that was our promise to the community that was affected day one," said Mark Maki, Senior Vice-President of Finance Business Partners for Enbridge.

On Friday, company officials offered reassurances about Line 61's safety.

"Line 61, as with all of the pipelines within the Enbridge system, are designed, constructed, tested, inspected and continuously monitored to safely and reliably transport the crude oil we all use," wrote Michael Barnes, with Enbridge media relations.

Enbridge Energy tripled the capacity of Line 61 over the past two years from 400,000 barrels to 1.2 million barrels per day.

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