The operator of an oil pipeline that cracked in 2010 and gushed nearly a million gallons of oil into a Michigan creek and river failed to make repairs and take appropriate action after recognizing structural problems several years earlier, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Tuesday.
The agency said Enbridge Inc. took more than 17 hours to shut down operations after the 30-inch-diameter pipeline ruptured and released crude oil into a wetland area near Marshall, Michigan, said NTSB Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman. The NTSB, which often investigates plane and bus crashes, also monitors pipeline accidents.
According to the NTSB, the incident was the largest oil spill in the Midwestern United States. Federal officials say cleanup costs have exceeded $800 million.