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Enbridge pipeline pump station

Enbridge Energy electrical technician Scott Welter walks between pipelines outside the company's pumping station in the town of Medina. The company wants to build a second pumping station there to as part of a plan to triple capacity of its Line 61, which carries tar sands crude through Wisconsin.

JOHN HART — State Journal

The Dane County Board on July 16 will hear the Enbridge Energy pipeline company's appeal of a permit that requires the company to purchase insurance aimed at guaranteeing a prompt and thorough cleanup in the event of a spill of tar sands crude oil.

The county zoning committee approved the permit in April with the condition that the Canadian company carry $25 million in pollution-cleanup insurance in addition to $100 million in general liability insurance. 

Enbridge has said its corporate-wide insurance policy and financial prowess are sufficient, but a consultant for the county recommended the additional coverage because an Enbridge insurer has balked at covering costs of a $1.2 billion cleanup in Michigan and the company's financial position will decline over the next few decades if the oil industry faces the same pressures that have beset coal.

The permit allows Enbridge to double the capacity of a town of Medina pump station, part of a project aimed at tripling the flow of heavy crude through Wisconsin. 

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Steven Verburg is a reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal covering state politics with a focus on science and the environment as well as military and veterans issues.