Public meeting in Superior to focus on shipping crude oil across Great Lakes

By KBJR News 1

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 10:25 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The construction of a proposed oil terminal in Superior that would allow crude oil to be shipped across Lake Superior will be the center of a public meeting next week.

The Wisconsin DNR called for the session to allow for public comment specifically on the process of repairing the dock at which the terminal could be located in Superior.

On a larger scale, the project would include taking oil from existing Enbridge pipelines and transferring it to the proposed Elkhorn waterfront site via the Calumet refinery's existing pipeline route.

As currently proposed, the terminal would load one barge every four days with Tar Sands crude oil to be shipped east via the Great Lakes.

But a new report from the group Alliance for the Great Lakes warns that the risks associated with shipping crude oil across Lake Superior may outweigh the economic benefit.

"It's not like other oil. Most oil, if there's an oil spill, it floats and you can put out a boom," said Andrew Slade of the group Minnesota Environmental Partnership. "Tar Sands oil tends to sink. It's got enough sand and clay... built into it that it would just go right down to the bottom Lake Superior, or go in the harbor," he added.

Slade says the current contingency plan both Minnesota and Wisconsin have in place to deal with oil spills isn't ready to handle a potential Tar Sands spill.

The public hearing will be held Tuesday, November 26th, beginning at 12:30, at the Superior Public Library.

Billy Wagness

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