MARSHALL (WKZO) -- Emergency management and Health Officials in Kalamazoo told the County Board last night that the county was spared the worst of the Enbridge Energy Oil spill, and while there will be monitoring of wells and continued vigilance on where the oil slick and oil sheens are appearing, it appears that Morrow Pond will be spared.
Congressman Mark Schauer continues to pound away at Enbridge Energy for what they have done and how they have done it. He says their delayed response to a leaking pipe near Marshall may have compounded the amount of damage done to the creek and the River.
Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel says they violated no rules, and were in compliance following the discovery of the leak. But he says that’s all they can say because it’s under investigation by several federal agencies now.
The EPA has just asked for all relevant documentation for their own investigation into the incident. The EPA’s Mark Durno said they continue to remove oil from Talmadge Creek, The Kalamazoo River, and surrounding properties, and are moving vacuum trucks further upstream as the cleanup progresses.
The EPA says their next public forum on the river cleanup will be held on August 10th in Battle Creek this time. The time and place is yet to be announced. The first forum in Marshall this week attracted hundreds.
Enbridge says they have opened a claims office at 77 East Michigan Ave. in the Commerce Point Building in Battle Creek and plan to open a second on Monday in Marshall, to handle claims for reimbursement by residents who have incurred costs and suffer losses.
They also said they had heard from a number of homeowners on their offer to buy homes in the red zone at pre-spill levels. Enbridge Energy Partners made the unique offer to purchase up to 200 homes after an accident last week forced residents close to the spill to evacuate.
Homeowners near the city of Marshall were asked to leave the area after excessive levels of the toxic chemical benzene were detected in the air. An Enbridge spokesperson says the offer was made to instill confidence that the company's cleanup will be thorough. An estimated one million gallons of oil made its way into the water.