Enbridge to pay $75 million to settle 2010 oil spill: Michigan officials

Reuters News
Posted: May 13, 2015 7:54 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Enbridge Energy and its affiliates will pay $75 million to settle a 2010 oil spill into Michigan's Talmadge Creek and Kalamazoo River that dumped 800,000 gallons of oil, state officials said on Wednesday.

"The agreement will finalize cleanup and restoration requirements for areas affected by the spill," that stemmed from an Enbridge owned and operated pipeline, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant said in a statement.

Wyant added that key provisions in the settlement include projects aimed at restoring the river's corridor to improve water quality and reestablish habitats.

The July 2010 spill affected 38 miles of Kalamazoo River as well as 4,435 acres (1,795 hectares)of nearby shoreline, officials said.

Under the agreement, filed on Tuesday with a judge in Calhoun County Circuit Court, Enbridge must finish cleaning up any remaining oil within about five years and pay the state's costs in overseeing clean-up and restoration projects, Michigan officials said.

Enbridge, Canada's largest pipeline company, said it was pleased to have reached the settlement.

"We will continue our long-term presence in the area and will work in the best interests of the affected communities and river system," the company said in a statement. "This settlement embodies that commitment."

Last month, it announced the start up of its $1.6 billion project to expand the affected line, known as Line 6B, to increase the capacity of Canadian crude that it can ship to refineries in Michigan and other areas. The line has been below capacity since the 2010 spill, then the largest on-shore oil spill in U.S. history.

Its settlement comes after the United States and Canada recently announced separate reforms to improve the safety of crude oil shipments aimed at reducing oil train crashes.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Ayesha Rascoe Editing by W Simon)