EPA to Oil Company: Stop Oil Flow by Monday

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday ordered Enbridge Energy Partners to stop the flow of oil from its leaking pipeline in Romeoville by noon Monday.

Enbridge crews have contained oil spilling from the pipeline and are trying to determine how the leak happened, but EPA spokeswoman Anne Rowan said the pipeline was leaking an estimated 200 to 600 gallons of crude per hour.

"The leak site itself is contained but oil is continuing to drain out of the pipeline,'' said Enbridge spokeswoman Terri Larson.  "As that oil drains out crews are cleaning it up."

Oil was sent onto a roadway and into a retention pond in suburban Chicago on Thursday when Enbridge Energy Partners officials said one of their pipelines in the area leaked.

"One of our guys said it looked like the Beverly Hillbillies in the opening scene when the crude is bubbling up from the ground," Romeoville Fire Chief Kent Adams told the Chicago Tribune.  "This is a pretty good sized leak."

Adams said about 50 gallons of crude per minute were leaking from the pipeline before it was contained. He said the leak was stopped about 40 minutes after it was first reported.

"The cleanup is progressing well," Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Varey said, according to Reuters.

No injuries were reported and authorities said they have yet to determine the cause of the leak. Nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution.

On Friday, silver cylinders duct-taped to utility poles prompted the lockdown of several area schools before the Environmental Protection Agency claimed the devices.

Enbridge Energy Partners is an affiliate of Enbridge Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta. The company said the line that leaked in Illinois transports 670,000 barrels per day from Superior, Wis., to Griffith, Ind.

An Enbridge pipeline also is responsible for a southern Michigan oil spill reported July 26 near Marshall. More than 800,000 gallons spilled from the pipeline and a cleanup continues in the Kalamazoo River.

The Michigan spill was from a pipeline runs from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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