Enbridge agrees to remedy 2010 Michigan leak’s environmental damages

Several Enbridge Inc. affiliates agreed to complete natural resource restoration projects along the Kalamazoo River to remediate damages from a 2010 crude-oil pipeline leak that resulted in one of the largest inland spills in US history, the US Department of Justice reported (OGJ Online, July 12, 2010).

Under the proposed consent order, which DOJ filed on June 8 in US District Court for the Southern Division of Michigan’s Western District, Enbridge and its affiliates also agreed to pay another nearly $4 million to fund more restoration projects, reimburse federal and tribal trustees’ natural resource damage assessment costs, and support the trustees’ ongoing restoration planning activities, DOJ said.

In a statement, Enbridge said the agreement was another step in the process of restoring Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek so they can be enjoyed by all Michigan residents and visitors to the state.

“We completed the cleanup in 2014, and have begun a new phase with the state for long-term monitoring and invasive species control along the Kalamazoo River,” the Calgary-based interstate pipeline company’s statement said.

DOJ said the trustees reached a separate settlement resolving Michigan’s claims against Enbridge relating to the July 2010 leak from the company’s Line 6B pipeline in a May 13 consent settlement by the Calhoun County Circuit Court in Battle Creek.

State settlement provisions that also will be enforceable under the June 8 settlement include commitments by Enbridge to perform work to restore or compensate for injuries to injured natural resources along the Kalamazoo River at an estimated cost of at least $58 million, DOJ said. “Thus, the two settlements combined result in estimated expenditures of at least $62 million to resolve natural resource damages,” it noted.

A comment period has not been scheduled on the proposed federal settlement. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s East Lansing, Mich., office is accepting comments on the state settlement by US mail or by e-mail at kzoorivernrda@fws.gov with “Enbridge NRDA Comment” in the subject line.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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