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USA: EPA Orders Enbridge to Perform Additional Dredging to Remove Oil from Kalamazoo River

EPA has repeatedly documented the presence of recoverable submerged oil in the sections of the river

03/14/2013 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued an administrative order that requires Enbridge to do additional dredging in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River to clean up oil from the company’s July 2010 pipeline spill. EPA’s order requires dredging in sections of the river above Ceresco Dam, upstream of Battle Creek, and in the Morrow Lake Delta.

EPA has repeatedly documented the presence of recoverable submerged oil in the sections of the river identified in the order and has determined that submerged oil in these areas can be recovered by dredging. The dredging activity required by EPA’s order will prevent submerged oil from migrating to downstream areas where it will be more difficult or impossible to recover.

Enbridge has five days to respond to the order and 15 days to provide EPA with a work plan. Dredging is anticipated to begin this spring and is not expected to result in closures of the river. EPA’s order also requires Enbridge to maintain sediment traps throughout the river to capture oil outside the dredge areas.

On July 26, 2010, Enbridge reported that a 30-inch oil pipeline ruptured near Marshall, Michigan. Heavy rains caused the spilled oil to travel 35 miles downstream before it was contained.