GLADSTONE – The U.S. Forest Service says it has no reason to doubt that Enbridge Company properly notified them of an oil spill in Delta County in 1980, they just haven’t found any record of it.
Hiawatha National Forest Supervisor Cid Morgan said they have identified emails from May of 2012 that confirms communication with Enbridge about the clean-up effort at that time. She says they are still looking for original documents.
“At this point, we have identified emails from May 2012 confirming communication with Enbridge about the clean-up to occur that time, and we are continuing to research our files for additional notification documents,” Morgan said.
The spill occurred in Nahma Township on Enbridge’s Line 5. It’s the same Line 5 whose twin, 63-year-old pipelines running underwater through the Straits of Mackinac has caused public concern and state review over a leak’s potential to damage the Great Lakes and shoreline communities.
Enbridge installed several ground water monitoring wells in 2015. The Forest Service says the company has planned a series of four montoring events at the wells between last fall and this summer. Two events have been held. Morgan says priliminary data shows no offsite groundwater contamination but he says an evaluation is premature until all of the testing is done.
Morgan says their first priority is the protection of the resource and public safety and health.
“Resource protection and public well-being will remain our priorities throughout the spill management process and we will continue to work with Enbridge to ensure this is achieved,” she said.
In July of 2011, the Forest Service amended Enbridge’s Special Use Permit authorizing installation of an emergency flow restriction valve, control building, radio antenna, and chain link fence near the site.
Morgan said the company has voluntarily and proactively addressed the situation since they identified the residual oil in 2011.