Enbridge Partners With Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe For Pipeline Safety Training
It was a bright and early start at 7 am for the Enbridge team. Crews gathered at the Knutson Dam Campground to simulate pipeline oil spills and how to respond them. Everything was controlled, but made to feel as real as possible.
“We have pre-designated areas for emergency response called control points, and there’s a plan to deploy tactics at the control points. After the first initial response happens, then we have a tactics guide that further gives us options for emergency response,” says Art Haskins, an Enbridge supervisor.
Enbridge says a pipeline spill is extremely rare. Still, if one does happen, they can address the issue in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the location of the spill and the weather conditions.
“When you look at the different modes of transportation that are available, pipelines are always the safest mode of transportation. So, it doesn’t mean though that we don’t need to go ahead and exercise and it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t go ahead and look at the capabilities of all of our equipment and our personal as well,” says Trent Wetmore, the director of Enbridge Midwest Region.
Enbridge wasn’t the only agency that was out participating in the training today. The Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe also made sure that they sent out officials to ensure the safety of the pipeline was the main component.
“The Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe is seeking to protect our water and our resources, and so we benefit from this exercise by working with our own first responders, so today, we’ve got the Cass Lake Fire Department and they’re out deploying boom and so we know what Embridge is going to do during a response,” says Duane Oothoudt, the Emergency Management Director for the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe.
Enbridge does this training annually, and they try to hold training sessions in both summer and winter. We don’t have official word on when the next training will be, but officials say they feel good about this one.
“I think, so far, what we’ve seen it has been very successful,” says Wetmore.
Oothoudt adds, “We learn so much every time we go out on the water and do this. It makes our plans that much better.”
Enbridge says citizens can play a part in ensuring pipeline safety. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you can call 911 or Enbridge at 1-800-362-7434.