Company Gets $2.4M Fine for Northeast Minnesota Oil Blast

August 19, 2010

The federal Department of Transportation has fined Enbridge Energy $2.4 million for a pipeline explosion and fire that killed two workers in northwestern Minnesota in 2007.

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar announced the fine Tuesday. A federal investigation finished in 2008 found Enbridge committed eight probable violations prior to the accident near Clearbrook, Minn., that killed two welders from Superior, Wis.

A spokesman for Houston-based Enbridge Energy Partners says the fine is more than officials expected but there are no current plans to appeal it. The company had previously said the federal findings were consistent with its own internal investigation of what happened and that it has taken steps to prevent similar future problems.

The company determined the blast happened after oil mist escaped from a coupling on the new section of pipeline and was ignited by a heater. The accident also caused $2 million property damage and caused world oil prices to spike.

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