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We’re writing in support of 350 Madison’s petition to the Dane County zoning committee to rescind its permit for the expansion of Enbridge’s Line 61.

Enbridge was responsible for the 2010 Kalamazoo River disaster, the largest inland oil spill in United States history, which took more than four years and $1.2 billion to clean up. The company wants to triple the flow of toxic tar sands through Line 61 from 400,000 to 1.2 million barrels per day.

In considering Enbridge’s request for a permit to expand its Dane County pumping station, the zoning committee made its approval conditional on the company acquiring $25 million of pollution cleanup insurance.

Enbridge appealed to the County Board but didn’t wait for its decision. Instead, the company successfully got the Legislature to add a provision to the biennial budget prohibiting counties from imposing an insurance requirement.

The Legislature’s nullification of the insurance requirement leaves Dane County without protection. 350 Madison has proposed a creative solution, asking the zoning committee to rescind the compromised permit and issue a new one requiring a $25 million trust fund to cover cleanup in the event of a spill. Given Enbridge’s appalling record, we urge the committee to adopt 350 Madison’s proposal.

-- Cathy Loeb and David Griffeath, Madison

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