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Pipeline leaks 1,200 barrels of oil near Wisconsin Dells

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Crews will begin Monday, July 30, to replace part of a crude oil pipeline that leaked 1,200 barrels of oil in a field north of Wisconsin Dells in Adams County.

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Enbridge Energy could not say what caused the spill or when the line from Superior to Chicago will start operating again. The leak happened on Friday in the town of Grand Marsh.

Enbridge officials said it was discovered very quickly. They said most of it was contained to the company's right of way.

The pipeline sends about 318,000 gallons per day of light crude oil from Superior to refineries in the Chicago area. Two similar pipelines along that route resumed operations on Saturday, once it was learned that they were not affected by the spill. A third line was expected to re-open right after that.

Meanwhile, repairs began Saturday on the broken pipeline. Enbridge said two Grand Marsh landowners were affected, and one family was relocated for its safety.

Oil was found on two small farm ponds, but drinking water wells were not affected. Federal officials said all of the pooled oil had been cleaned up.

Reuters said the impact on Chicago's oil refiners would depend on how long the pipeline's out and how much oil the refineries have in reserve.

The spill came at a poor time for Enbridge, which had another pipeline leak in Alberta, Canada, last month. The firm was the subject of a critical government report on its handling of a ruptured pipeline in Michigan in 2010 that was not noticed for 17 hours.

Another pipeline leak

The number of contaminated home water wells has grown to seven from the recent gasoline pipeline leak near Jackson in Washington County.

The state Department of Natural Resources has expanded its search for polluted water beyond the 70 wells already tested.

The pipeline's owner, West Shore, began installing water treatment systems to the seven affected homes over the weekend. Those systems are capable of removing gasoline from drinking water. The seven families are also receiving bottled water for now.

Four surrounding neighbors are also getting the treatment systems at their request, even though their wells were not found to be polluted.

Almost 55,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from West Shore's pipeline almost two weeks ago. The pipeline itself was repaired more than a week ago.

Crews spent most of the last week removing contaminated soil near the spill. One nearby well had almost 550 times the acceptable level of benzene in its drinking water.

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