The U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement Monday with Enbridge Energy Company that will incorporate portions of the state settlement over the 2010 oil pipeline rupture into the Kalamazoo River and require some additional work.
The settlement puts federal authority behind the state requirements that the company complete any remaining cleanup and restoration in the spill area, work the settlement estimates at $58 million. It then requires another $6 million in restoration efforts.
Among the new work under the federal settlement is replacing culverts and removing water flow obstacles in the spill region, increasing floodplain capacity in two tributaries, controlling invasive species in and along the river in the Fort Custer State Recreation Area, and restoring wild rice beds in the river and an oak savanna in the recreation area.
The work has to be done in consultation with members of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of the Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi to ensure their historic uses of the river are restored.
"Working together, the natural resource trustees are using the settlements in tandem to develop a big-picture, comprehensive plan to restore natural resources," said Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley for the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "This cooperative approach will enhance our ability to return to the public the natural resources lost due to the spill."
Trustees for the settlement are seeking public comment on the draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment.
Source : Gongwer News Service : Michigan Report, Volume #54, Report 112, June 8, 2015. Full access requires a subscription or a visit to a subscribing library such as the Michigan State University Main Library. For assistance in accessing the database, stop by the MSU Library Reference Desk.