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Environment & Climate Change

Enbridge revises estimated amount of oil that spilled from ruptured pipeline

In 2010, oil spilled into a creek near the Kalamazoo River from Enbridge Line 6b
Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
Crews working this summer to collect to oil in the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek.

This week the energy company involved in an oil spill that reached the Kalamazoo River is revising the amount of total oil that leaked from a ruptured pipeline near Marshall. Enbridge Energy submitted the update to US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration this week.

Lorraine Grymala manages community affairs at Enbridge Energy. She says the company estimates 20,082 barrels spilled from the pipeline – that’s up about 3%. “I would expect that that would be a firm number,” Grymala said, “The number that you could expect to see change is the amount of oil recovered and that’s simply because we’re not done yet with the cleanup activities.”

So far, Enbridge reports its recovered 18,245 barrels, that’s 90%of the oil that leaked. They estimate 8,033 barrels of oil have reached Talmadge Creek.

“Initially we wouldn’t have known how much we recovered because that’s the part of the activity that takes a long time. So the more important part of the number was what’s been recovered, what’s been put back into our system to date.”

Clean-up efforts are slower because of the weather. But Grymala says they are working to clean up some of the wetlands. She says it’s easier to get heavy clean-up equipment into the swampy areas this time of year and it’s less damaging to the environment.

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