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Officials: U.P. gas pipeline leak requires no cleanup

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

A pinhole-sized leak in an Enbridge natural gas pipeline in the Upper Peninsula discovered in early December did not cause any contamination requiring cleanup.

That was the opinion expressed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, along with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, in a joint statement issued Tuesday.

“Enbridge Pipe Line #5 was reported to have a ‘pinhole’ leak on December 8, releasing an undetermined amount of natural gas liquid that was vaporized into the atmosphere,” according to the statement. “As a result, there was no contamination requiring remediation.”

The leak took place just north of Manistique near the Indian River, which is a tributary of the Manistique River close to Lake Michigan.

The discovery of the leak reportedly took place while Enbridge was investigating a potential pipeline problem reported by one of its safety systems.

Enbridge made national headlines in July 2010 when an oil pipeline burst causing more than 1.1 million of gallons of heavy crude oil to spill into the Kalamazoo River.

More than 35 miles of the river were closed for the cleanup, which included dredging portions of the river to remove submerged oil and oil-contaminated sediment.

The clean up cost Enbridge nearly $800 million, not including a $3.7 million fine imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

TGreenwood@detroitnews.com(313) 222-2023