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Enbridge Spill Response Timeline

2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

See also Enbridge Spill News Archive


Monday, July 26, 2010

Enbridge Energy Partners LLP (Enbridge) reported a 30-inch pipeline ruptured near Marshall, Michigan. The release, estimated by Enbridge at 843,000 gallons, entered Talmadge Creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River, a Lake Michigan tributary. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams and carried oil at least 35 miles downstream on the Kalamazoo River.

As the federal agency in charge of the response to the spill, EPA assumed a leadership role in the Unified Command and mobilized an Incident Management Team made up of federal, state and local agencies.

July 27, 2010

The day after the spill was reported, EPA issued a legal order (an Administrative Order) under the authority of the Clean Water Act directing Enbridge to conduct removal actions. EPA also ordered the company to produce documents and information relevant to EPA's investigation into the source, extent and nature of the oil spill.

July 28, 2010

The spill was contained approximately 80 river miles from Lake Michigan.

Oct. 14, 2010

EPA held a public meeting in Marshall, Mich. to update residents on progress with the cleanup and restoration efforts, followed by an open house where residents could talk one-on-one with agency representatives and Enbridge staff.

Nov. 8, 2010

EPA held an expo and public meeting Nov. 8 in Battle Creek, Mich., to update residents on the status of the cleanup and the long-term role of EPA.

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Aug. 5, 2011

EPA transferred primary oversight of ongoing cleanup activities along Talmadge Creek to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Aug. 17, 2011

EPA held a public meeting in Marshall to provide an update on the cleanup.

October 2011

EPA issued a directive requiring Enbridge to take additional steps to clean up the oil spill. The EPA directive laid out a performance-based framework for assessing and recovering submerged oil in the river and cleaning up oil-contaminated river banks. On October 20, Enbridge submitted the Consolidated Work Plan for Activities through 2012.

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  • April 17, 2012 - EPA held a public meeting in Marshall.
  • June 21, 2012 - An additional 34 miles of the Kalamazoo River and the entire 2 miles of Morrow Lake were reopened for recreational use. The Morrow Lake Delta remained closed.
  • Oct. 3, 2012 - EPA notified Enbridge that more work was needed to clean oil in the Kalamazoo River. EPA proposed further action upstream of Ceresco Dam, upstream of the Battle Creek Dam (Mill Ponds area), and in the delta upstream of Morrow Lake.

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  • March 14, 2013 - EPA issued a final Administrative Order under Section 311(c) of the Clean Water Act requiring Enbridge to contain and dredge submerged oil in the impoundment areas of Ceresco, Battle Creek Mill Ponds, and Morrow Lake Delta/Fan. EPA also required Enbridge to dredge sediment traps that had exceeded the trigger amounts set by the July 2012 Sediment Trap Monitoring and Maintenance Plan.
  • July 2013 - Enbridge began a new dredging project on the Kalamazoo River to comply with the EPA Order.

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August 2014

EPA issued a letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that outlined EPA's intent to transition the site to the state agency once the dredge work under the 2013 Order was completed.

Fall 2014

Enbridge completed its remaining obligations under the 2013 EPA Order that directed specific sub-oil and sediment removal pursuant to EPA authority. The final portion of this work, the sediment removal by dredging at Morrow Lake and the Delta, was completed in October 2014.

Upon completion of this dredging activity, and based on successful completion of the other work requirements of the 2013 Order, EPA determined that Enbridge had completed all of the prescribed actions.

EPA transitioned the site to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. MDEQ is now the active site lead agency and is coordinating with the affected stakeholders.

EPA demobilized from the site in early November 2014.

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June 8, 2015

The U.S. Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree on behalf of federal, state and tribal natural resource trustees to resolve natural resource damage claims arising from the Enbridge pipeline oil spill that occurred near Marshall, Mich., in 2010.

EPA is not party to this settlement. The consent decree expressly reserves the federal government's right to seek penalties and injunctive relief for violations of the Clean Water Act in connection with the oil spill. The Department of Justice and EPA are currently negotiating with Enbridge to resolve those Clean Water Act claims.

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