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Enbridge gets EPA approval for 2012 oil spill cleanup plans

A view of cleanup work along the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek in August, 2010
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
A view of cleanup work along the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek in August, 2010

 The EPA this week gave approval to Enbridge Energy’s plans for continuing its cleanup of an oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.    The plan suggests major cleanup operations may change next year.  

More than 840 thousand gallons of crude oil spewed from a broken pipeline near Marshall in July, 2010.   The exact amount remains in dispute.     

Hundreds of workers have spent the past 17 months removing the oil from the river.    

 Jason Manshum is an Enbridge spokesman.  He says Enbridge’s plans for 20-12 include assessing how much submerged oil remains in the Kalamazoo River. 

 “That will determine…along with…looking at the science data we’re receiving…how much work …if any.. needs to be done…going into the summer and fall 2012," says Manshum.    

That could mean scaling back the cleanup operation.   However, state and federal environmental regulators will have the final say on when the oil spill cleanup will be complete.    

In the meantime, Enbridge crews continue to remove oil from wetland areas this winter.    And in the Spring,  Enbridge crews will resume efforts to remove submerged oil from three different segments of the river.   

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.
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