Members of the faith-based initiative Illinois People's Action were among those expressing concern at an open house in Bloomington designed to gain input on Enbridge Energy's proposed oil pipeline extension. Volunteer Marilea White says the Canadian firm has a history of spills and environmental-related fines, the most serious four years ago near Kalamazoo, Michigan.
"Oil went as far as 23 miles from the actual leak site, destroying creeks and water supply and all kinds of habitat for humans and animals before it was stopped. Four years later, they're still not done with clean-up."
White says Enbridge's overall record with spills is terrible.
"In the last few years, they've had $7.2 million in fines for at least 551 environment infractions and safety regulations."
White and others with IPA want to keep Enbridge from building a crude oil pipeline from Pontiac to Patoka in southern Illinois. They say the line threatens water resources for Bloomington-Normal and nearby communities, including the Mahomet Aquifer which stretches beneath 15 central Illinois counties.
In April, an administrative law judge granted Enbridge authority to use eminent domain to acquire easements for the pipeline, originally proposed in 2006. The Illinois Commerce Commission has the final say.
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