MARYSVILLE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – U.S. and Canadian agencies are joining a mock oil spill exercise in the area where an underground pipeline runs beneath the St. Clair River near Marysville.

Kalamazoo oil spill. (Getty images) File

Kalamazoo oil spill. (Getty images) File

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The drill Wednesday includes steps that would be taken in the event of an actual spill, such as creating a command center, determining how to recover the oil and communicating with the public.

More than 400 people are taking part, including personnel with pipeline company Enbridge Energy. Among participating agencies are the Coast Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michigan State Police and St. Clair County Emergency Management.

More than 800,000 gallons spewed into the river and a tributary creek in July 2010 after the rupture of an underground pipeline near Marshall in southwestern Michigan. Oil flowed about 35 miles before it was contained. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the rupture was caused by cracks and corrosion, and the agency faulted Enbridge for failing to take steps that might have prevented it.

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Enbridge says total costs from the disaster are pegged at $1.2 billion.

The pipeline is known as Line 5, which carries light crude and liquid natural gas across much of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and beneath the Straits of Mackinac before heading southeast to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario.


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