July 26 marked the one-year anniversary of the Enbridge pipeline rupture into the Kalamazoo River near Marshall, Michigan.
The rupture released approximately 19,500 barrels of bitumen and dilutant into a tributary creek, which carried the heavy crude to the Kalamazoo, contaminating the shoreline and adjacent wetlands for 50 km down river.
One year later the clean-up of the Kalamazoo continues, costing Enbridge and the American taxpayer more than a half a billion dollars. The affected portion of the river remains closed to the public.
Supporters of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project assert that pipeline-related oils spills are highly improbable “events,” but a cursory review of the record over the year since the Kalamazoo spill suggests otherwise.
Between September 2010 and July 2011 there have been seven significant spill events including: 10,000 barrels from the Enbridge 6A line near Romeoville, Illinois, 28,000 barrels from the Plains Midstream’s Rainbow pipeline near Peace River Alberta, 1,500 barrels from the Enbridge’s Norman Wells pipeline near Wrigley, NWT and 1,000 barrels from Exxon Mobil’s Silvertip pipeline into the Yellowstone River near Billings, Montana. Quite a year for the pipeline industry.
So the next time you’re jet boating, canoeing or fishing on the Stuart this summer remember the Kalamazoo River and the people that live along it’s shore.
Tell John Rustad and Christy Clark that Northern Gateway is not worth the risk.