Enbridge completing Michigan oil spill cleanup
Jul 21, 2015 at 2:47 PM
Contaminated soil is expected to be removed from the Morrow Lake delta near Comstock Township in Kalamazoo County by mid- to late summer, Enbridge Inc. spokesman Jason Manshum said.
Crews will keep restoring riverbanks this fall.
Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Enbridge to dredge sections of the Kalamazoo River to remove sediments tainted by oil from the massive spill.
The leak was discovered in the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek near Marshall in July 2010. Oil flowed about 35 miles before it was contained. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined the rupture was caused by cracks and corrosion, and the agency faulted Enbridge for failing to take steps that might have prevented it.
The state said last month in a public health assessment that there's no long-term harm to people's health from coming into contact with chemicals in the river's surface water during wading, swimming or canoeing. But contact with the oil sheen in the river may cause temporary effects such as skin irritation.
The state also said oil-related chemicals levels in fish are very low.
Enbridge is replacing and enlarging the line, part of a $2.6 billion project to boost the flow of oil to refineries in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
"We're bringing in soils and native plants and trees to make a nice green space like it would look if there had never had been a spill there," Manshum said.
The company will conduct periodic environmental monitoring, he added.
The state is overseeing restoration efforts closer to the site of the rupture. That work involves tapering the riverbank, creating habitats for fish and installing brush.