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Estimated cost of cleaning up Kalamazoo River oil spill rising

Oil spill cleanup workers on the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek in August, 2010.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
Oil spill cleanup workers on the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek in August, 2010.

The new estimate was part of paperwork Enbridge Energy filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.   The company says it’s revising its estimated cleanup costs, from $585 million to $700 million.  That's about a 20 percent increase.   

 “The cleanup cost to date includes some additional work around submerged oil….and those recovery operations….and just some more active remediation of the impacted environment." says Terri Larson,  an Enbridge spokeswoman,  "So there are a few factors that are at play within that expected increase.” 

More than 800 thousand gallons of crude oil leaked from a ruptured pipeline near Marshall in July, 2010.  

 Enbridge missed an August deadline to complete the cleanup of oil still resting on the bottom of the Kalamazoo River.    

The company still hopes to remove most of the submerged oil by the end of the year.  

 “What’s important is that from the very beginning we said that we’re going to make this right.  And we’re going to spend the time and resources to make sure that the area is returned to its pre-spill condition…as close as we can." says Larson.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.