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Candidate’s effort to tank Superior project fails

Mike Simonson

Wisconsin Public Radio

 The Department of Natural Resources has turned down an appeal by state Rep. Brett Hulsey, D-Madison, a candidate for governor, to stop construction of three massive Enbridge Energy crude oil storage tanks in Superior.

Hulsey says the half-million barrel tanks shouldn’t be built because they’ll hold what he calls dirty, explosive tar sands oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, as well as the tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

On Tuesday, the DNR denied Hulsey’s appeal, saying his argument had nothing to do with the air quality permit issued for the tank construction project.

A second petition was denied to Peter Bormuth, a man from Jackson, Mich., who like Hulsey contended that Enbridge has a record of pipeline leaks. Bormuth also said the tanks violate the public trust doctrine over navigable waterways like Lake Superior and the Nemadji River.

The DNR called Bormouth’s argument too general of an allegation.

Enbridge has said it has a goal of zero pipeline leaks.

Construction of the $150 million tanks got underway last month. It is expected to create 125 construction jobs and take two years to complete.

In what was considered a routine air quality permit, the DNR got more than 200 letters and 3,400 emails during the May comment period. Many of those opposed the air quality permit for the tanks.