August 18, 2010 | Mark Paradies

Enbridge Fined $2.4 Million for 2007 Accident

$2.4 million is a considerable fine. But one wonders if a fine 3 years after an accident will really help improve safety.

The 2007 accident was a result of poor maintenance and repair activities, says a report by the Pipelines and Hazardous materials Safety Administration. The report took a year to complete and was reported on in part of an article in the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The article said:

In addition to the $2,405,000 fine, Enbridge must also revise and implement certain pipeline maintenance and repair procedures, as well as train and re-qualify its employees.

The fine comes after an accident in Michigan that happened on July 26 that resulted in more than 1 million gallons of oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge has released estimates of the cost of the cleanup of that spill: $300 to $400 million. Some of those costs will be covered by insurance. After insurance, Enbridge expects the costs to be $35-45 million.

Wow! The fine is a pittance compared to the accident costs of the recent spill. It seems as if a great deal of money could be saved by implementing proactive maintenance programs to improve pipeline/equipment reliability. Perhaps Enbridge should be looking into using Equifactor® and attend the Heinz Bloch session at the Global TapRooT® Summit to learn the latest ideas for equipment reliability improvement.

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