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Enbridge Pipeline Causes Concern In Pana

Updated: Thursday, June 19 2014, 11:23 AM CDT
A planned Enbridge Energy pipeline has been in the works for over a year, it will stretch for more than 100 miles and across multiple states. Which includes plans calling  for it to move across portions of Central Illinois.

Construction on the Enbridge Pipeline project is supposed to start later this year, but the Pana mayor wants some changes so his water supply won't be contaminated.

"Our lake, our surface water, is our only source of drinking water," said Pana Mayor, Steven Sipes.

Lake Pana serves as the water source for more than 6,500 people, but now a controversial new pipeline may pose a threat.

The Enbridge Pipeline will stretch 165 miles across multiple states and a small portion of the pipeline will cut through Christian County, which doesn't sit well for the Mayor of Pana.

"They never approached us about coming across those ditches," said Sipes.

And county officials say the underground oil lines will lie just east of Lake Pana, which is considered part of the lakes water shed.

"Somebody in Shelby County put the mayor onto the fact that the little creeks that run in to the Pana Lake. That is the concern out there is to avoid that and move them a little farther away," said Christian County Board Chairman, Paul Schmitz.

The mayor  says the land for the pipeline goes across private property and he believes the watershed may actually be owned by the city.

Construction will start in a matter of weeks, but a possible oil leak from the pipeline is a real concern.

"At one time I had a pile of paper clippings here from news articles where they had issues in other placed where they actually leaked into water sources," said Sipes.

A situation like that could virtually shut the city down. For example, local restaurants use water for ice, drinks and washing dishes.

"We wouldn't be able to operate. It wouldn't be a clean environment any longer. Mopping floors, everything requires water," said Sandra Anderson.

Anderson, a Pana resident and food service employee,  says the impact could be even greater.

"It impacts my daughter who is 2 years old. She drinks water on a daily basis. Some from the tap. Cooking and everything it would affect me as a resident," said Anderson.

The Pana Mayor says he is expecting to hear from pipeline officials before construction gets started. He says if he doesn't hear anything, he will be ready to take legal action.

Christian County Board Chairman Paul Schmitz says other than the issue in Pana, he has not been approached by anyone else with complaints.

Schmitz says Enbridge officials have held multiple meetings with government officials and said they would meet with the mayor of Pana to address his concerns.Enbridge Pipeline Causes Concern In Pana

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