The National Media Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council says even after all the cleanup efforts, oil remains in the Kalamazoo River from a massive spill six year years ago.
Last week federal officials announced the largest civil penalty for an oil spill in U.S. history. Enbridge will pay $177-million in its settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. The rupture of an Enbridge pipeline caused a massive oil spill on the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
Mogerman says the fine levied against Enbridge is significant, but he says the largest inland oil spill in history merits even more. He says the fines are not enough to change practices. Mogerman says the fines aren’t going to make communities along the Kalamazoo River whole. He says a lot of money has been spent to clean up the river, but the river "is broken.”
The settlement requires much of the money to go for pipeline improvements. But Mogerman says that actually helps Enbridge by allowing them to expand pipeline capacity. He says more money should go to communities along the Kalamazoo River.
Mogerman says the message sent by the fines and the settlement is that companies should pay attention to safety of pipelines, but even if there is a problem of “historic stature,” the fines are going to be manageable.