Environment & Science
4:39 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Enbridge, property owner spar over felled trees

A Livingston County homeowner says Enbridge cut down about 50 trees on her property without permission. The energy company is replacing about 65 miles of oil pipeline.

The owners of the property near Fenton say they were surprised to find the trees bulldozed Wednesday morning.

Chris Christenson is the attorney for Debora and David Hense.

He says the Henses had been in negotiations with Enbridge to extend an easement on their property to allow work space for heavy equipment as the pipeline is replaced.

But Christenson says there was no agreement to clear cut the trees.

"I don't know how you can not know there's a dispute, and not think, 'Hey, maybe we should sit down with these homeowners and see if we could work things out before you do anything,'" Christenson says. "Instead, without communication, you go out there and start cutting down trees? I think that's not very nice. That's bad faith."

An Enbridge spokesman says the Henses were compensated for use of the easement but would not disclose details. He also says the company has the right to use the land under a deal negotiated in the 1960s.

Enbridge was responsible for a massive crude oil spill into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River two years ago.