MARSHALL—Enbridge President and CEO Patrick Daniel says he's looking into allegations that people felt coerced into signing forms releasing the company from liability in exchange for air purifiers and air conditioners.
Congressman Mark Schauer from Calhoun County is calling for a Department of Justice investigation into Enbridge. Rep. Schauer and the Chairman of the House Committee' on Tranportation and Infrastructure are asking for the U.S. Attorney General to investigate claims that people were coerced to sign settlement releases with Enbridge.
On July 26, an enbridge pipeline leaked more than 800,000 gallons of oil in Marshall. The oil made it's way into Talmadge Creek, then on to the Kalamazoo River. People living in the area could smell the benzene fumes for days.
According to a letter sent by Rep. Schauer to A.G. Eric Holder, people impacted by the spill were asked to sign release forms in order to receive air purifiers, air conditioners and other expenses. Schauer says the release discharges Enbridge from liability and claims, and allows Enbridge access to medical records. "That is not the case, but that is one of the things I want to clarify," Patrick Daniel said during a conference call Wednesday. "My understanding is there were, at the request of some homeowners, to install air purifiers, but I am following up to find out if there was requests for releases to be signed."
Another major note coming out of this afternoon's call: September 1st is the first day of goose hunting season. Officials ask that you steer clear of the river if you're hunting. They also ask anyone who takes a goose that has oil on it, or one that is banded as a bird that was rescued, to call the Enbridge hotline at 800-306-6837.
The EPA says clean-up is on schedule. More than 700,000 gallons of oil has been recovered in and near Marshall since the leak there.