On July 20, 2016, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in the lawsuit entitled United States v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, et al., Civil Action No. 1:16-cv-914. The United States published a notice advising the public of an opportunity to submit public comments on the proposed settlement during a 30-day period. 81 FR 142 (July 25, 2016). During the public comment period, several commenters requested extension of the comment period. The United States is extending the comment period through October 21, 2016 to allow time for interested persons to submit additional or supplemental comments on the proposed Consent Decree.
The Complaint in this action asserts claims against Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership and eight related Enbridge entities (“Enbridge”) arising from two separate oil transmission pipeline failures that resulted in discharges of oil to waters of the United States and adjoining shorelines. One of these pipeline failures occurred on July 25, 2010 near Marshall, Michigan on a pipeline known as Line 6B, and resulted in discharges of oil to Talmadge Creek, a large stretch the Kalamazoo River, and adjoining shorelines. The other pipeline failure occurred on or about September 9, 2010 in Romeoville, Illinois on a pipeline known as Line 6A, and resulted in discharges of oil primarily to an unnamed tributary to the Des Plaines River, a retention pond, and adjoining shorelines. The proposed Complaint seeks injunctive relief and civil penalties under Sections 309 and 311 of the Clean Water Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1319 and 1321, for both the Marshall, Michigan and the Romeoville, Illinois oil spills. In addition, under Section 1002 of the Oil Pollution Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 2702, the Complaint seeks to recover from Defendants all unreimbursed removal costs incurred and to be incurred by the United States in connection with the Marshall, Michigan oil spill.
Under the proposed Consent Decree, Enbridge will pay a civil penalty of $61 million for the Marshall, Michigan oil spill, and an additional $1 million for the Romeoville, Illinois oil spill. In addition, Enbridge will pay over $5.4 million in unreimbursed federal removal costs that the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (“Fund”) paid in connection with the Marshall, Michigan oil spill through October 1, 2015, and Enbridge will pay all additional removal costs consistent with the National Contingency Plan that are paid by the Fund after October 1, 2015 in connection with the Marshall, Michigan oil spill. Prior to the Consent Decree, the United States billed Enbridge for additional federal removal costs incurred in connection with both the Marshall, Michigan oil spill and the Romeoville, Illinois oil spill, and Enbridge paid all amounts billed for that spill. Finally, the proposed Consent Decree includes an extensive program of injunctive relief, including a series of measures designed to (1) reduce the potential for future pipeline failures that could result in unlawful discharges from Enbridge's Lakehead System pipelines, (2) improve leak detection capabilities and Enbridge's response to situations that could indicate potential pipeline failures, and (3) improve Enbridge's emergency response and preparedness capabilities to better address any future spills that might occur.
The publication of this notice extends the period for public comment on the proposed Consent Decree through October 21, 2016. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, et al., D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-10099. All comments must be submitted no later than October 21, 2016. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:
|To submit comments:||Send them to:|
|By mail||Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.|
During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the Start Printed Page 62537proposed Consent Decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.
You may request a paper copy of the Consent Decree with or without Appendices. If requesting a copy of the proposed Consent Decree with Appendices, please enclose a check or money order for $52.25 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury, for a copy of the Consent Decree with Appendices. If requesting a copy of the proposed Consent Decree without Appendices, please enclose a check or money order for $42.25 payable to the United States Treasury.
Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
[FR Doc. 2016-21693 Filed 9-8-16; 8:45 am]
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