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Enbridge cleanup efforts accelerate with onset of spring

Now that spring has sprung, Enbridge is beginning to ramp up cleanup efforts on the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek.

On July 25, the Enbridge Energy Partners Lakehead Pipeline 6B burst, spewing an estimated one million gallons of thick tar sands crude oil into the two bodies of water, polluting dozens of miles of shoreline, threatening to recontaminate superfund sites, and potential reach Lake Michigan. The EPA and Enbridge were able to stop the flow of oil — both at the pipe and along the river.

Regardless, cleanup workers began surfacing, alleging that islands and shorelines were not being cleaned up properly. In September, Michigan Messenger was able to document hundreds of undocumented workers toiling for 12 to 14 hours a day in unsanitary conditions. Messenger also documented allegations of cover-ups, with clean up workers saying they were directed to cover up oil on a number of islands in the Kalamazoo river.

In November, Messenger highlighted the story of John Bolenbaugh, another oil spill clean up worker, who alleged that he too was directed to cover up oil along the river. He also alleged that many areas that had been “cleared” by the EPA were in fact still contaminated.

Enbridge and EPA officials denied all the allegations of cover up, but now a story in the Battle Creek Enquirer, shows islands and submerged oil are targets of the renewed clean up efforts.

In the story, some islands are identified as soaked with oil and some areas in the river are heavily contaminated with submerged oil, which is identified as Canadian tar sands oil.

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