Kalamazoo river oil spill

Environment & Science
2:27 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Environmentalists worry about oil pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits

The view of the Mackinac Bridge from St. Ignace
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Protesters are expected Sunday afternoon near the Mackinac Bridge. The protest won’t be about what travels over the bridge, but actually beneath it.

Jim Lively is the program director at the Michigan Land Use Institute. He says several environmental groups are worried about an aging oil pipeline that passes through the Mackinac Straits.

“It’s really unclear what the benefit is to the state of Michigan to take this oil that’s coming from either Canada or North Dakota,” says Lively.

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Environment & Science
5:42 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Enbridge Energy could face fines after incident with pipeline that's under construction

Enbridge Energy has until July 31st to submit a plan to resolve problems with its new oil pipeline. The line will span much of lower Michigan once completed. It’ll replace the one that burst in 2010, causing the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality cited a dozen violations of the conditions of a water discharge permit.

MDEQ investigated the site in Livingston County’s Tyrone Township after a video surfaced online of reddish colored hydrostatic test water spewing into North Ore Creek.

MDEQ found Enbridge didn’t have someone on site overseeing the tests on the pipeline. Water sampling and testing wasn’t done as required. There was too much oil and grease discharged, among other issues.

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Energy
12:27 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Citing public pressure, U.S. State Department extends comment period on Enbridge pipeline proposal

Enbridge's map of it's pipeline systems. Line 67 is part of the Lakehead System.
Enbridge Energy

The U.S. State Department has extended the public comment period on a proposal to nearly double the amount of crude oil that's shipped in a pipeline along Lake Superior.

Enbridge Energy’s Line 67, also known as the “Alberta Clipper” pipeline, runs from the tar sands region in Canada down to Wisconsin near Lake Superior. In the US, it's more than 300 miles long and three feet in diameter.

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Environment & Science
8:09 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

EPA orders Enbridge to dredge parts of the Kalamazoo River for submerged oil

This photo was taken of cleanup crews at the Ceresco Dam on the Kalamazoo River in the days after the spill. The EPA says there are still pockets of submerged oil near the dam.
State of Michigan / EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency says more dredging is needed to remove submerged oil in parts of the Kalamazoo River.   The oil is from a massive spill in 2010. 

It’s been two and half years since a pipeline ruptured near Marshall, spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil that eventually fouled about forty miles of the Kalamazoo River.

The EPA says more than a million gallons of oil have been recovered since the cleanup began.  But the agency says there’s still more oil submerged in the river. 

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The Environment Report
1:27 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

MDCH releases report on drinking water wells after Kalamazoo River oil spill

The oil spill in Talmadge Creek near the Kalamazoo River on August 1st 2010.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

You can listen to today's Environment Report above.

We’re rounding the corner on the three year anniversary of the Enbridge oil spill near Marshall.

The cleanup isn’t over yet and so far, more than a million gallons of thick tar sands oil have been cleaned up from the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek.

State officials have been looking at possible health risks from the spill.

This week, the Michigan Department of Community Health released a report on drinking water wells along the spill zone.

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Environment & Science
8:37 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Michigan Health officials say 2010 oil spill did not contaminate water wells

Workers removing oil from the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There's good news and bad news for residents with drinking water wells near the Kalamazoo River. A massive oil spill contaminated the river in 2010.

State officials tested 150 of the residential water wells for contaminants.

“Now the oil related chemicals, those would have been iron and nickel, they were detected in a few wells but nothing but was levels of concern,” says Angela Minicuci, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Commentary
11:09 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Commentary: The Pipeline Controversy

There’s going to be a meeting tonight in the normally sleepy community of Brandon Township, in rural northern Oakland County not that far from Flint. Except that this session is likely to be different.

You can expect it to be crowded, and explosive.

Two years ago, a pipeline belonging to an Alberta-based company called Enbridge ruptured near the picturesque town of Marshall, sending more than eight hundred thousand gallons of crude, thick, tar sands oil into a creek leading to the Kalamazoo River. It was the largest inland oil spill in the history of the Midwest.

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Environment & Science
4:06 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

On 2nd anniversary of Enbridge oil spill, a look back

The Kalamazoo River after the spill, taken July 30, 2010
State of Michigan EPA

Two years ago today, the EPA estimates Enbridge Energy's busted pipeline led to an oil spill of more than 1 million gallons into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.

We've been covering the spill and it's cleanup since it first happened. You can follow the links below for a chronological compilation of Michigan Radio's coverage of the incident and its fallout.

2010

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Environment & Science
9:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Enbridge and the Kalamazoo River: Two years after the spill

Enbridge building in Edmonton, Alberta.
user Kyle1278 Wikimedia Commons

It's been two years since a busted pipeline spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

Michigan Radio's  Zoe Clark sat down with reporter Steve Carmody who has covered the spill since July 2010 and spoke about the efforts to clean up with river and how its faring two years on.

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Politics & Government
4:03 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Protesters abound at Legislature’s only session day in July

Michigan State Capitol Building
Nikopoley Wikimedia Commons

Several rallies at the state Capitol were timed to coincide with the Legislature’s only session day this month.

The largest was a group of about 150 abortion rights advocates protesting a package of bills before the state Senate.

The bills call for strict regulations on abortion providers.

One of the speakers was Renee Chelian. She works for a group of family planning clinics in metro Detroit. Chelian says protests have slowed down the bills after they cleared the state House last month.

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Environment & Science
1:01 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Critical NTSB report will likely not affect state review of new Enbridge pipeline in Michigan

Federal regulators this week blasted Enbridge Energy for its handling of the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.     But the highly critical federal report is unlikely to affect a state review of Enbridge’s plans for a new oil pipeline through Michigan.  

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Environment & Science
10:06 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Enbridge employees compared to 'Keystone Cops' in 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill

6 and a half foot long rupture in Line 6B.
NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board is not pulling its punches against Enbridge Energy in a highly critical report of the company’s handling of the July, 2010 oil spill near Marshall.

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Environment & Science
4:48 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Federal officials to release report on Enbridge oil spill on Tuesday

The section of Line 6B that ruptured on July 25th, 2010 near Marshall, Michigan
NTSB

Federal regulators will release a report tomorrow on the reasons why an oil pipeline broke near Marshall.

Environmentalists want to see if problems with federal oversight of the pipeline industry will be cited in the report.

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Politics & Government
6:23 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

6th Congressional Republican candidates talk about Kalamazoo River oil spill

A portion of Talmadge Creek, close to where the spill originated near Marshall, Michigan. The creek has been re-routed since this picture in July 2011.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Republican Congressman Fred Upton and his primary challenger Jack Hoogendyk talked mostly about health care the federal deficit and energy issues during a debate Tuesday afternoon. The two Republicans debated for an hour on WKZO.

Their talking points were about the same but Hoogendyk says he’s more conservative than Upton, who’s been in Congress 25 years now.

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Environment & Science
5:37 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Enbridge may face record civil penalty for 2010 oil spill

EPA

Enbridge Energy may have to pay a record federal fine for the July 2010 oil spill near Marshall.

But the proposed fine is well below the expected cost of the nearly two-year-long cleanup.

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Environment & Science
9:06 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

State says it’s okay to eat fish from stretch of Kalamazoo River affected by oil spill

A woman catches a bigmouth bass near Hope, Michigan.
LadyDragonFlyCC Creative Commons

It’s another sign things are starting to get back to normal… two years after the spill. Earlier this month the state opened up the river to swimmers and boaters for the first time since the spill.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says it’s now safe to eat fish from a thirty-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River affected by a massive oil spill.

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Environment & Science
11:56 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Enbridge Energy holds open house on oil pipeline plans

During an open house in Marshall, a couple looks at a map of the proposed route of a new crude oil pipeline that would travel along a diagonal line across southern Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Last night, dozens of people in Marshall had a chance to look at plans for a new oil pipeline that would run through their mid-Michigan community.

The new pipeline would replace an older one that ruptured two years ago, resulting in a massive oil spill.

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Environment & Science
1:01 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Enbridge will outline plans for new oil pipeline tonight in Marshall

Marshall's idyllic downtown park
city of Marshall

Enbridge Energy officials will to meet tonight with people in Marshall to lay out their plans for a new oil pipeline.

Two years ago, an Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Marshall, leaking more than 800 thousand gallons of crude oil.   Only last week, state and federal officials announced the reopening of most of the Kalamazoo River, which has been closed to the public so crews could clean up the oil spill.

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Health
8:42 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

State study shows no long term health risks from oil in Kalamazoo River sediment

The area before Ceresco Dam (Pictured in July 2011) has more oil sediment compared to other portions of the Kalamazoo River. Researchers used samples from more heavily contaminated areas like this for thier study.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

It’s been nearly two years since an Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Marshall, leaking more than 800,000 gallons of heavy, thick tar sands oil into the river. Most of it has been cleaned up. What remains has sunk to the river bottom or dried up on the bank.

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Environment & Science
1:23 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Federal investigation highlights role of staff turnover, inexperience in Enbridge oil spill

Crews monitor the air near the site of the oil spill
EPA Region 5

An ongoing investigation into the 2010 Enbridge oil spill by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is raising concern over frequent staff turnover and inexperience among personnel in the company’s Endmonton control-room.

Last Friday, the NTSB added new materials to the public accident docket, including transcribed interviews with Enbridge staff.

The Toronto Globe and Mail reports:

In the transcripts, one control-room operator likens his job to that of an air traffic controller and says he’d like to see Enbridge do more to retain control-room staff in the hot Alberta job market.

“And you just don’t have air traffic controllers coming in and out of the system like that, right, because you know that it will impact safety, right?” says the transcription. “So, I’d like to see them really look at keeping people in the control-room, keeping us happy in there, and I don’t know what it’s going to take, but that’s what I’d like to see.”

The employee added that when he started working at the company 25 years ago, he could count a combined 100 years of experience among four employees in the control-room. Now, he said, the experienced personnel in the room tend to only have three or four years under their belts.

The NTSB also reported that the time of the spill coincided with a shift change in the control-room, offering a possible explanation of why the spill went unnoticed for hours.

In a press release, Enbridge officials said that they would wait to comment on the new findings until the NTSB publishes its final report later this fall. In the release, officials added that the company been working to improve the safety of its operations in the two years since the spill by doing things like changing the “structure and leadership of functional departments such as pipeline control, leak detection and system integrity.”

- Suzanne Jacobs, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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