The Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee decided to postpone a vote on whether or not to allow for the expansion of a cross-state oil pipeline Wednesday, taking issue with the company's proposed $100 million spill insurance policy for the county.
Enbridge, the company in charge of the pipeline, hopes to increase the capacity of the line to 1.2 million barrels per day at each of the 12 pumping stations throughout Wisconsin, a county statement said Wednesday. Dane County is the only county that has not yet approved the increase.
Local governments near the other 11 pumps have approved Enbridge's expansion, though Dane County hopes to find independent analysis of the latest spill insurance offer, of which $100 million of the total $700 million policy would be set aside for Dane County.
"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 simple," said Committee Chair Patrick Miles in a Wednesday statement. "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.”
Miles noted that he hoped to have a staff report completed before the committee's next session Feb. 10.
This is not the first time the vote on Enbridge’s pipeline expansion has been postponed.
“A lot of the people we represent are concerned about the potential dangers of increasing the amount of oil flowing through the county,” Miles said in his statement, defending the stalled process. “They need to know we are looking at this very carefully and diligently, and proceeding with a great deal of public deliberation.”
This story was updated 2/3/2015 at 1:25 p.m. A previous version of the story incorrectly reported the Enbridge pipeline would connect to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.