08/06/2012 08:57 EDT | Updated 10/06/2012 05:12 EDT

Enbridge Gets Approval To Reopen U.S. Pipeline

Enbridge Inc. has received U.S. government approval to restart a pipeline that was shut down July 27 after leaking more than 1,200 barrels of crude oil on a Wisconsin field.

The Calgary-based energy distribution giant said Monday it had received approval from the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restart Line 14 on Tuesday. The 750-kilometre segment is part of Enbridge's 3,000-kilometre Lakehead Pipeline system, which transports hazardous liquid to Chicago from North Dakota with an extension to Buffalo, N.Y.

"Communities across the country deserve to know that the pipelines running underneath their homes, streets and businesses are safe. That is why we are requiring Enbridge to commit to such a thorough safety plan," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

The secretary said he plans to hold weekly meetings with his team to ensure Enbridge ensures the safety of the pipeline in the Lakehead System.

Enbridge (TSX:ENB) spokeswoman Lorraine Little said the safety of people who live and work along our pipelines as well as the protection of the environment are our top priority.

"We will continue to work closely with PHMSA to ensure that the pipeline is safely restarted," she said.

Federal regulators proposed a $3.7 million US civil penalty in early July — the largest it has ever attempted to impose —over a 2010 incident on another of Enbridge's pipelines that fouled the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.

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