Pipeline Accident Brief

Large Crude Oil Spill from Damaged Enbridge Energy Pipeline

Romeoville, Illinois
September 9, 2010

NTSB Number: PAB-13-03
Adopted: September 30, 2013

Executive Summary

On September 9, 2010, at 11:30 a.m., a 34-inch-diameter pipeline (Line 6A) owned and operated by Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership (Enbridge) leaked beneath the street pavement adjacent to 717 Parkwood Avenue in the Village of Romeoville (Romeoville), Will County, Illinois, releasing about 6,430 barrels of Saskatchewan heavy crude oil. Damages, including the cost of the environmental remediation, totaled about $46.6 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership oil pipeline leak and crude oil release near the Des Plaines River in Romeoville, Illinois, on September 9, 2010, was erosion caused by water jet impingement from a leaking 6-inch diameter water pipe 5 inches below the oil pipeline.

Contributing to the accident was the interruption of the cathodic protection currents by the close proximity of the improperly installed water pipe.