MARSHALL—It has been one month since the Enbridge pipeline broke in Marshall, spilling almost 1 million gallons of crude into Talmadge Creek and, eventually, the Kalamazoo River.
Congressman Mark Schauer, in whose district the spill occurred, held a public forum in Marshall Thursday night. Schauer has put together a panel of federal, state, and local officials to answer questions from the public. More than 150 people came to share concerns with EPA and federal regulators. "This is a company that made $1.9 billion in profits last year, " Rep. Mark Schauer said. "They need to return this community - these property owners - the way they found it."
"One end of the creek they're pumping, and doing work at the other end at 15 mile road," Jim Monaweck told FOX 17 News, as heavy equipment moved though his yard. "It's a 24-hour operation." The Monaweck Family lives a mile from where the leak occurred. Now, a month in, contractors for Enbridge and the EPA have completed scraping the creek.
Enbridge appraised the Monaweck's house; an amount Jim said was insulting. "My house wasn't for sale, so why should I now sell it at a discounted rate as a result of the market? Why shouldn't I get full replacement value? My house is not that old," Jim said.
The NTSB said the line was ruptured along the side, about a six foot tear... but no cause has been determined. "We did note several areas on the pipe where the adhesion of the plastic coating to the pipe was low and we also noted some signs of corrosion, NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman said. "We usually tell people it takes about 12-15 months to complete our investigations."
The Department of Transportation said Enbridge is still under a "Corrective Action Order" and must get gradual, incremental approval before restarting the line. The DOT says they want to make sure nothing like this happens again.
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Candice Miller is also getting in the act, asking Congress to address the issue in a committee hearing on September 15. Miller says there are problems elsewhere in the Enbridge pipeline, including a dent.