MARSHALL, MI (WLNS) – Sometimes it’s not a matter of when but how justice is served. Enbridge Incorporation agreed to fork over more than $170 million for two separate oil spills. This all stems back to 2010 when two pipeline ruptures spilled nearly 1 million gallons of oil into bodies of water including the Kalamazoo River .
It was six years ago, one of the worst ever inland oil spills in the country. But today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a $61 million fine for the Enbridge oil line rupture that eventually spilled into, and coated nearly 40 miles of, the Kalamazoo River near Marshall.
Justice Department Assistant Attorney General John Cruden said, “we believe there were other issues. There was control room problems. We believe they were negligent in the handling of the oil which is obviously a valuable resource and, so all of these things we thought needed to be addressed.
Officials believe this money is important to keep the water clean in the future.
Western Michigan U.S. District Attorney Patrick Miles said, “financial accountability is very important. It is something we take very seriously. We also want to make sure we don’t have a recurrence of these types of events.”
Yet, for some people it’s not financial.
Marshall resident Bill Lark said, “the commitment not only by the oil company but local environmental groups, state local, federal groups that’s going to be the end result of what happens. So, it’s more than just money.”
And, Enbridge feels the same way.
“We’ll never forget what happened here in Marshall. It’s something we’ve memorized as a company and will continue to drive our efforts to deliver on our number one priority of safety and protecting the environment,” said Enbridge Incorporation U.S. Operations Vice President Brad Shamla.
As for now the water is free of oil bringing an end to a six year issue.