Press release from Marketwire
News Briefing: Statements from Enbridge News Briefing on Marshall, Michigan Pipeline Leak, September 30, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
MARSHALL, MICHIGAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2010) -
Excerpt from Joint News Conference, 3 p.m. Eastern Time, September 30, 2010
Patrick Daniel, President & CEO, Enbridge Inc.
We've now completed the primary clean-up along Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River and we're moving into a restoration and maintenance phase on the project for any required continued clean-up along the riverbank and the creek.
We're very pleased with the way the clean-up has gone and we've submitted documentation to the EPA, of course, that supports those efforts.
As I mentioned to you last week, as the clean-up phase of the response effort winds down we're now downsizing the workforce along the river. Having, at one point, had over 2,000 people, we now employ approximately 1,000 people on the clean-up, about two-thirds of whom are Michigan residents.
We'd announced a few weeks ago that Mr. Dennis Archer had been engaged to review our claims and settlement process. We now anticipate receiving his preliminary recommendations on the claims process next week. We want to ensure a continued fair and reasonable process for compensating people for damages and we look forward to receiving those recommendations.
Our efforts are still ongoing in support of the local real estate market and to date we've purchased 11 homes with an additional 17 homes to close by mid-October. And of the 105 homes for which appraisals have been ordered 56 have been completed. So, as indicated before, we probably will own in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 homes by the middle of October.
I've also started a series of meetings and received significant input on river and community enhancement projects beyond damage repair, which is what we've focused on to date. And these projects fit well with the presence of workers, equipment and facilities that we've utilized over the past two months.
As I mentioned before, we've been a part of the community for the past 41 years and any investments we make now will benefit our employees and this community for a long time to come.
STEVE WUORI, Executive Vice President, Liquids Pipelines
As Pat mentioned we have submitted our documentation to the EPA regarding the September 27th completion of primary clean-up.
I was out along the creek and the river late yesterday and the intense work that's been done over the last number of weeks is really showing in all of the areas.
Along the creek, crews have contoured the creek channel where it's been needed and have also seeded and laid coconut stabilization matting throughout the area. Mark Durno mentioned grass heights of six to eight inches in Site A and I think we're at three to four inches in some areas along the creek so we are getting some good grass growth in what's been reseeded.
Similar work is taking place along the river and then, as we transition from primary clean-up to a longer-term maintenance and monitoring focus, our work will become more focused and the number of workers will continue to go down as a result.
Just to elaborate a little bit on what Mark Durno mentioned regarding submerged oil, around the Ceresco Dam especially. We did begin a dredging operation today in which we essentially remove the oil off the bottom. The oil and the sediment is being pumped into large geo textile tubes on shore. The water will be drained and treated and the sediment will be allowed to dry and then will be hauled away to an appropriate waste facility. In some other areas we are using mechanical aeration or forced air techniques to bring oil to the surface in the form of sheen, where the sheen is then collected and removed and that work has been underway and will continue. The deadline for clean-up of the submerged oil is October 31st and we expect to meet that deadline.
Lastly, in terms of the physical clean-up, we're in the process of cleaning hundreds of boats and all the other equipment that's been working on the river. This will take a few weeks but everything that leaves here will be cleaned when it leaves.
In respect of Line 6B, we did restart Line 6B earlier this week in a process that was closely watched by PHMSA the Office of Pipeline Safety and also a third party monitor that had been engaged to oversee the restart process. The graduated return to service was completed in accordance with the amended restart plan that was approved by PHMSA. We're certainly pleased to have the pipeline back in service but I certainly want to stress that clean-up along the river and the creek and the affected shoreline remains our top priority here.
Enbridge has launched a website to provide updates and further information about the Company's response to the leak on the 6B pipeline near Marshall, Michigan. The URL for the website is response.enbridgeus.com.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Enbridge Energy Partners Ltd. Toll-free Media Line: (888) 992-0997or
Enbridge Energy Partners Ltd. Investment Relations: Douglas Montgomery Toll-free: (866) EEP INFO or (866) 337-4636