Enbridge asks EPA for extension to finish cleanup after 2010 oil spill

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Enbridge Inc. has asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for an extension to complete dredging of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River to clean up after a July 2010 oil pipeline spill.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge made the request for the EPA to extend its deadline past Dec. 31, the Kalamazoo Gazette reported. The pipeline company said the request is due in part to opposition by some area residents to the parts of the work.

Enbridge hasn’t been able to get a dredge pad site for Morrow Lake work in Kalamazoo County’s Comstock Township. It also notes it’s been sued by project opponents including Larry Bell, owner of Bell’s Brewery Inc., and it is awaiting permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

“Enbridge’s preparation for dredging in the Delta and Morrow Lake area has been discontinued due to an unanticipated issue with securing a dredge pad site,” Rich Adams, senior vice-president of operations for Enbridge, wrote in a letter to an EPA official.

Last month, the EPA announced that Enbridge will nearly triple the amount of contaminated sediment it dredges in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. The work is above the Ceresco Dam upstream of Battle Creek and in Morrow Lake, and will lead to the temporary closing of 12 miles of the river.

A rupture in the 30-inch pipeline from Sarnia, Ontario, to Griffith, Ind., spilled into Talmadge Creek, a Kalamazoo River tributary.

Oil flowed about 35 miles before it was contained. An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the rupture was caused by cracks and corrosion, and the agency faulted Enbridge for failing to take steps that might have prevented it.