Enbridge holds emergency response exercise in Nekoosa
By Rapids City Times staff
NEKOOSA – Enbridge conducted a pipeline emergency response training exercise on Sept. 19 on the Wisconsin River in Nekoosa.
Enbridge gathered support contractors, along with federal, tribal, state, and local first responders for the exercise, which organizers say was designed to “build teamwork and expertise in a response setting.”
“Safety is a priority for us here at Enbridge,” said Jennifer Smith, Enbridge community engagement manager. “We are North America’s largest energy infrastructure transportation company here.”
Smith said that the company’s assets are diversified between natural gas and crude oil.
“We also have about $6 billion in renewable energy assets,” Smith added.
“The Enbridge system is a vital link to the energy that we’re all using right here in the Midwest. You have one refinery here in Wisconsin in Douglas County and 100 percent of the crude oil that it refines comes in off the Enbridge system.”
That crude oil gets turned into gasoline, jet fuel, asphalt for roads, plastics, and other products.
“Up in Superior, we have a pretty large terminal and that is kind of the heart of the system,” Smith explained. “So, we have crude oil and products coming in and they are either going to a storage tank and then they are going to the refinery up there or they are going to go back out on one of the other pipelines. We have 10 pipelines total here in the state.”
Enbridge’s “Main Line Corridor,” travels through Wood County. That corridor has four pipelines in it – three pipelines running north to south, carrying crude oil into the Chicago area from the Superior terminal – and the fourth line that carries a light gasoline-type material to the north.
Emergency response exercises such as the one held Sept. 19, prepare all emergency response teams to handle situations should a leak occur and in the pipelines that transport product through the area.
“We are exercising on water in case of a release; practicing what we would have to do in a release,” said John Schwarz, Enbridge technical supervisor. “Some of the hazards the crews might see – struck by or against or caught in-between something; compressed gases; stored energy and pressure; line of fire; slips, trips and falls; ground conditions…”
Enbridge conducts training exercises in a variety of scenarios, seasons, and locations throughout the year, in an effort to prepare local, state, and federal organizations should an incident occur.