Apr 18

Dear MI DEQ, Don’t Let Enbridge Off the Hook

The MI DEQ is planning on approving a Non Further Action for the 2010 Kalamazoo River Spill. They are accepting public comment. So we put together a statement of opposition.


Dear Chris Lantinga and the DEQ,

We write with fierce opposition to the transportation and refinement of all tar sands and fossil fuels throughout the great lakes region. Enbridge’s neglect indicates the corporation’s thirst for profits over a sincere concern for our environment. We are in opposition to the Department’s Intent to approve an Unrestricted Residential No Further Action motion (NFA). We urge the DEQ to deny the NFA motion.

The EPA has yet to come out with their final Clean Water Act penalties against Enbridge for the largest inland tar sands spill in U.S. history. It is our fear that if Enbridge is let off the hook, the EPA will have no ability to enforce fines and penalties.

The report falsely claims “Emergency response actions were initiated immediately following the discovery of the release.” It is a well reported fact that Enbridge workers dismissed the pressure drop warnings as air bubbles. Instead of shutting off the flow of tar sands, they increased the pressure.

Residents on the ground, at Bakers Estates’ trailer park had to wait 4-5 days, in some cases up to 10 or more days for evacuation. The evacuation was then very poorly executed utilizing rolling evacuations, meaning a family would stay in a hotel for a night or two, then be sent back to ground zero.

Over 40 people have died of cancer and kidney/liver failure as a result of the spill, many have been diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer. Due to silencing laws passed in the last few years, and Enbridge’s devious ways (non-disclosure clauses of settlements), these people are not able to speak out and highlight the connection between their illnesses and the spill.

Due to these extreme negligences by Enbridge we urge the DEQ to deny the NFA motion. We urge the DEQ to act on behalf of the people impacted by this, our environment, our climate and our future by holding Enbridge accountable and denying the NFA.

In the spirit of liberation,
Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands

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