County Committee Postpones Enbridge Decision
January 28, 2015
Zoning and Land Regulation Committee Chair Patrick Miles 608.886.9167
Zoning and Land Regulation Committee Seeks Evaluation of Latest Insurance Offer
The Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee once again postponed a vote on a conditional use permit to allow Enbridge Energy to increase the capacity of an oil pumping station in the Town of Medina, citing the need for an impartial expert to examine the type of insurance policy and amount of coverage required to clean up a spill.
At issue is Enbridge’s offer to dedicate $100 million of its $700 million spill insurance policy specifically to Dane County.
“A lot of the people we represent are concerned about the potential dangers of increasing the amount of oil flowing through the county, and they need to know we are looking at this very carefully and diligently, and proceeding with a great deal of public deliberation,” said Committee Chair Patrick Miles. “Dedicating $100 million of insurance to Dane County sounds pretty straightforward, but when you start to think about how that actually works, it’s not quite that simple. It’s an existing policy, and it’s not clear exactly how a reallocation of a portion of that policy would work. We don’t even know for sure whether $100 million is adequate, or whether the policy is the right type of coverage. We need some clarity on these issues. ”
Miles said he hoped to have a staff report prior to the committee’s next scheduled work session on February 10.
Enbridge currently pumps about 400,000 barrels per day through Dane County, and is seeking to increase that capacity to 1.2 million barrels, partly by increasing the capacity of the Medina pumping station.
“We learned another important fact last night, which is that Enbridge could increase its capacity to one million barrels tomorrow, whether or not we approve this particular conditional use permit,” said Miles. “They already have approval to increase capacity at 11 of their 12 pumps across Wisconsin. They don’t necessarily need this pump to dramatically increase their capacity. That’s important to keep in mind as we go forward.”