LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state of Michigan and an energy company have reached a $75 million settlement with Enbridge Energy over the July 2010 oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.
The agreement will finalize cleanup and restoration requirements for areas affected by the spill.
The Enbridge pipeline broke near Marshall in July 2010 dumping 800,000 gallons of crude oil into the river. It was the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history. Enbridge estimated the total cost of cleanup at $1.2 billion.
“This is a huge win for Michigan’s environment,” said DEQ Director Dan Wyant. “We are pleased to announce this settlement, because the key provisions are projects to improve and restore the river corridor. This settlement will mean improved water quality, improved fish and wildlife habitat, and an improved experience for river users in the years to come.”
Under the settlement, Enbridge will pay:
- $30 million as estimated costs for Enbridge to restore or construct 300 acres of wetlands in the watershed for permanent protection.
- $18 million spent by Enbridge to remove Ceresco Dam in Ceresco, Michigan and construct other improvements to the river in the previously impounded area. These changes will help restore the run of the river closer to its natural historical condition.
- $10 million spent to construct and improve recreational and boating access sites for the public at five locations and provide an endowment for perpetual maintenance of the recreational/access sites. These sites include Saylor’s Landing and Ceresco Green in Marshall Township as well as Angler’s Bend, Paddler’s Grove, and Historic Bridge Park in Emmet Township.
- $5 million to be paid to the State by Enbridge for additional enhancement and restoration of the Kalamazoo River, to be paid within 30 days of the entry of the agreement.
- $12 million paid in reimbursement of the State’s costs in conducting and overseeing cleanup work, restoration and mitigation, and attorney’s costs.