Happy Halloween, everyone! Those of us along Line 6B have more than our fair share of frights over the past year or more. So we’re bringing you a treat instead: a guest post from our friend and hero Beth Wallace!
5 spooky facts about Enbridge’s Mackinac Pipeline
by Beth Wallace
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons:
- Dress up..and what girl doesn’t love to dress up!
- And best of all – you get to scare the crap out of people all day and nobody can get mad at you!
Taking advantage of the last point – I would like to share 5 very real and very scary facts about Enbridge’s Mackinac Pipeline.
This past August, I rang in my 30th birthday by joining Enbridge on a panel in Ironwood, Mich., to brief a room of reporters on the Mackinac Pipeline. I went into this conversation determined to gather as much information from Enbridge as I possibly could. I knew this was the best chance I was going to get for a long time considering that both Enbridge and the PHMSA continue to brush off our formal requests for disclosure of integrity around this pipeline.
If you’re not familiar with the Mackinac pipeline – you can watch this video for a quick debrief.
Now, on to the spooky facts:
1. Enbridge has increased pressure on the 60 year old Mackinac Pipeline by 50,000 barrels per day. This pipeline has never been replaced and has had a history of failure – including a rupture in Crystal Falls of 226,000 gallons of crude and natural gas liquids in 1999. Like many pipeline failures around the country, Enbridge did not discover this rupture. A motorist driving by smelled the strong petroleum odor and called 911. This spill formed a potentially explosive cloud that forced dozens of nearby residents to evacuate. Enbridge officials ignited the vapor cloud to prevent it from spreading, which touched off a raging fire that burned for 36 hours and scorched eight acres of land.
2. According to Enbridge, in order to increase pressure on their pipeline, PHMSA only required hydro tests of two small sections of the pipeline that had never been hydro tested before. Enbridge indicated that those sections were only ~50 miles in length and ~75 miles in length. The Enbridge folks in the room did not know where those tests occurred, but we know that one took place in Bay City since it turned up a failure on the line. Despite the test indicating failure on the pipeline, Enbridge was given the green light to increase pressure throughout their pipeline and completed that project sometime in July 2013.
3. Enbridge has not yet been required to obtain a presidential permit for the expansion and operational changes made to the Mackinac Pipeline, which would have required an Environmental Impact Statement and public comment periods. Both Enbridge and the American Petroleum Institute stated that these types of permits are arbitrary and only delay projects.
I took that opportunity to explain that these permits are the only way the public can have a voice in these risky projects. Moreover, a proper Environmental Impact Statement has never been required for this pipeline. Increasing pressure on a massive 60 year old pipeline that crosses the freshwater drinking source for millions of people should go through a public comment period and impact review.
4. If the Mackinac Pipeline were to rupture in or near the Straits of Mackinac, Enbridge has admitted to having only one representative nearby. In Enbridge’s own emergency response plan, they indicate that it would take them 3 hours to respond from Escanaba or 6 hours from Bay City. Depending on the weather, response might not even be possible at all. In addition, we have records that indicate Enbridge is not utilizing state of the art technology at these locations, for shut down of their pipeline, which could cause any rupture to be much greater.
5. Enbridge stated that this pipeline could last indefinitely and that they currently have no plans for replacement of this 60 year old pipeline. The most frightening fact behind this statement is that this kind of thinking is one of the main reasons Enbridge had the largest and most costly inland oil spill in Marshall, Mich., three years ago when Line 6B spilled around 1 million gallons into the Kalamazoo river system. Enbridge knew Line 6b had a large number of problems but they postponed plans for replacement and pressed forward with risky operations. Waiting for a pipeline to have massive failure, before you consider improvements, is extremely frightening and many would argue illegal.
If you would like to contact your senators – NWF has created a very easy action alert reminding our Senators that pipelines that have international border crossings, and go through operational changes- like the Mackinac Pipeline and Line 6B- need to obtain a presidential permit.
Since this post will cover some ground that we’ve covered before, we’ll try to be brief. We’re risking repeating ourselves because this really gets our goat:
Yesterday, we read an interesting column by Jerry Davich in the Post-Tribune up in Northwest Indiana. The column isn’t bad. In fact, in many ways, it’s quite good– better than most, we’d say. It’s well written, thoughtful, fair-minded, and even, from our point of view, appropriately skeptical of Enbridge rhetoric. Even better, it gives plenty of air time to Nicole Barker of Save the Dunes, an organization we very much admire. Nicole and her team have been doing excellent and important work down in Indiana. The whole state owes them tremendous gratitude.
So what’s the problem? Well, once again, it’s the frame. The implied narrative of the story as Davich tells it is that the Line 6B project just pits groups like Save the Dunes against Enbridge. It’s a story of environmentalists versus energy– a simple, clear, compelling, dualistic narrative.
And what’s Davich’s position? Well, he seems to have some sympathy with the enviros like Nicole Barker, but then he (cleverly) allows Barker and Robert Thompson, executive director of the Porter County Plan Commission, to state what he describes as his own “contrarian opinion on this slippery issue”:
“It’s been quite a ride dealing with this for the past two years, and seeing the pipeline come through my area in LaPorte County is still shocking each time I drive by,” [Barker] told me.
This is where Barker unknowingly hints at my contrarian opinion on this slippery issue after I repeatedly hear similar concerns or complaints from many residents.
“Then again,” Barker noted, “I am driving by and it’s my car and my usage of fuel that is contributing to this.”
“So while it’s easy to point fingers, it’s a reminder that Northwest Indiana needs to do a better job of designing communities around people rather than vehicles.”
Thompson echoed this pragmatic, look-in-the-mirror reality check.
“As long as people are going to use their autos and we demand or want lower gas and oil prices, we are going to have companies trying to service that demand,” said Thompson, who rides his bicycle to work to avoid paying for gas.
“This is my choice. But if people are going to have the demand for oil and gas, we are going to see projects such as Enbridge in the area.”
Now, it’s hard to see just what’s “contrarian” about the position stated by Thompson here and endorsed by Davich. Spend 30 seconds in the comments section of any internet article about oil or gas production and that position will invariably be one of the first ones you encounter. Far from being contrarian, it’s just about the most obvious opinion available.
Just how obvious, how un-contrarian is it? Well, it’s the very first thing that Enbridge says, all the time. We’ve heard it over and over and over, from Joe Martucci (remember him?), from Patrick Daniel, from Tom Hodge. In fact, there is almost nothing Enbridge loves more than this version of the Line 6B story because they know it’s a way of framing the story that works to their advantage. Every time. Just look: even environmentalists like Nicole Barker and Robert Thompson concede the point! Enbridge wins!
The problem is, as we’ve said before, that it’s a false choice and a lousy frame. For one thing, it’s a false choice because the idea that we would suddenly run out of fuel for our cars if Enbridge didn’t get to build its new pipeline is ludicrous. But let’s set that one aside. It’s a lousy frame because it obscures a whole host of other very serious problems with the Line 6B project, many of which (unlike our dependence on fossil fuels) could actually be solved rather quickly: the weakness of federal and state regulatory oversight, the granting of eminent domain to foreign corporations and the erosion of individual property rights, the disregard for local authority and ordinances, the terrible mistreatment of landowners by a rich and powerful multinational corporation.
Just to be clear: we are as concerned about the environmental threats posed by tar sands oil production as anyone. But these are the other issues at stake in the Enbridge project and they can’t easily be fit into the simplistic enviro vs. energy narrative. In fact, you can be the most die-hard drill-baby-drill petroleum-guzzling Hummer-driving energy advocate in the world and still think that the company building the pipeline should have to behave itself and respect the states, municipalities, and private properties through which it passes. That is, you can be in favor of the pipeline project but critical of how Enbridge is going about completing it.
This news roundup is a little dusty, we’re sorry to say, but still relevant. Here’s a barrelful of recent items of note:
Enbridge President of U.S. Operations Stephen Wuori– yes, that Stephen Wuori— was in Michigan last week. No, he wasn’t here to talk to landowners and to apologize for the shabby treatment they’ve received at the hands of Enbridge and its pack of flighty, itinerant land agents; evidently, he is unwilling to face that unpleasant truth. Instead, he was here for a nice photo-op. Enbridge has turned over three parks that they created along the Kalamazoo River to the Calhoun Conservation Club. Obviously, we think this is a very good thing. And there’s no getting around the fact that the parks are very nice–even though, as we’ve said before, they’ve also scrubbed the area clean of the history that lead to the creation of those parks. Perhaps the Calhoun Conservation Club will put up some signs that tell the truth about those parks’ creation. They certainly should. The Battle Creek Enquirer’s Jennifer Bowman has the story.
In fact, Jennifer was quite busy last week. She also covered an interesting talk— we’re sorry we weren’t there– by our friend Steven Hamilton, the scientist from MSU who probably knows more about cleaning up diluted bitumen from waterways than any other human on the planet. If you want to know how things are really going on the Kalamazoo River, you don’t look to Steven Wuori or Jason Manshum, you look to Hamilton. Here’s a little taste of what he had to say:
“Sheen is really important to the story because it actually doesn’t take a lot of oil to make sheen,” Hamilton said. “But, we see it so you have a visible sign that there’s oil in the river when sheen is produced.”
Recent reports say the sheen doesn’t present long-term harm to river users. But Hamilton said whether it’s ecologically harmful is up for debate. And tar sands continues to be a controversial energy source.
Hamilton also pointed to last year’s report from the National Transportation Safety Board, in which it said organizational failures and weak federal regulations were to blame for the 2010 spill.
“To me, that says it was preventable,” Hamilton said. “If we put enough effort and money into it, it might increase the cost of oil down to the consumer level but we can make pipelines safer if we take the right measures.”
Completely unrelated: we happened to be watching an episode of the Canadian program “Dragon’s Den” the other night, when, go figure, Enbridge’s name came up. In fact, the mention of Enbridge had everything to do with matters we were ruminating upon right here on this blog not very long ago: trees. It seems that for their “Tree for a Tree” program, Enbridge works with an outfit called Carbon Farmer. We took this as an opportunity to seek a little clarification about how, precisely, that Enbridge program works. So we wrote to Carbon Farmer with a few questions. But wouldn’t you know it? They have yet to reply. Evidently, everything Enbridge touches turns un-communicative…
Closer to home, apparently there is a bit of wariness and concern on the part of residents along phase two of Line 6B about the necessary pumping station upgrades. According to (an older) news report from one of our all-time favorite local reporters Susan Bromley, Brandon Township has approved a site plan, although some conditions of that approval have yet to be met. More recently, neighbors close to the pumping station in St. Clair township have expressed their displeasure with Enbridge’s plans. The Times Herald has that story.
Beyond Michigan, you may have heard by now about the large oil spill out in North Dakota. Obviously, this should be of concern to everybody in its own right. Even more troublesome, however, is that more recent reports seem to indicate that the company responsible for that spill, Tesoro Corp., may have known about problems with that line well before the spill? Sound familiar? If not, you haven’t read the NTSB report on the Marshall spill. And the takeaway here? Don’t feel comforted when companies like Enbridge tell you about all the fancy technology they’ve got to prevent pipeline spills. Technology, as we’ve said here many times, isn’t really the problem. Humans– that is, humans shaped by specific corporate cultures– are the real problem.
And speaking of problems we’ve experienced in Michigan that are being replicated elsewhere, you might also have heard about the gigantic piles of pet coke that are piling up along the Calumet River. Like the residents of Detroit, Chicagoans are none too happy about it. Henry Henderson has more over at the NRDC’s Switchboard blog.
Finally, a little levity from all of this unhappiness, courtesy some clever people up in Canada watching closely Enbridge’s Northern Gateway PR campaign:
We have always said that we’ll give credit to Enbridge if and when it’s due. It’s not our fault there’s more bad to report around here than good. But this morning, we’ve got something good to report.
Yesterday, we went for a walk at one of our favorite places nearby: the Shiawasee Basin Preserve in Davisburg. A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that they were installing some nice new limestone paths. That work appears to be complete now. And these signs have appeared:
You remember the Environmental Stewardship Program. Enbridge announced it almost a year ago during their settlement agreement with Brandon Township. It’s a very good program, offering $10-15,000 dollar grants to all townships and municipalities all along the Line 6B route for “green” projects. The go-getters in Springfield Township have already put (at least a portion of) that grant money to good use. The path looks great.
So thank you, Enbridge.
Of course, we should also thank Brandon Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman because without the stand Brandon took last year, we don’t think there would be an environmental stewardship program.
Anyway, your own local officials should know about this. In fact, please contact them and ask if they’ve got any plans for that money– and then let us know. (We’re writing our own Township Supervisor this morning.) It’s our understanding that residents are eligible to apply for it as well, as long as the use benefits everyone and is related to a green project. In fact, we would very much like to make this a new series: how municipalities are utilizing these funds. Heaven knows we could all stand to see some good things come out of all of this.
That would be a series even Enbridge would like!
Just a very quick update: despite our plea from yesterday: as of today, no one from Enbridge has contacted us to get the name and number of the landowner we mentioned yesterday who has standing water and ruts on his property and would just like to get some simple information about the status of restoration– even though we can tell you with absolute certainty that someone (and probably more than one person) from Enbridge read that post.
So once again, Enbridge missed an easy opportunity to do something right, something decent, something that would have cost them nothing more than an email and a phone call. Evidently, they just don’t care.
One of the things we’ve said here many times is that Enbridge is largely in charge of what we write here at the Line 6B Citizens’ Blog. That is, if they didn’t just keep doing the same things over and over and over, we wouldn’t continue to have material to write about. After all, it’s not as if we’re just making things up.
Today is a case in point. We were perfectly content to have an Enbridge-free day, to give them (and ourselves) a little respite from all of these tales of landowner dissatisfication (and make no mistake about it, folks at Enbridge our among our most loyal readers!). But our fellow landowners keep sending us unhappy emails, looking for help, looking for information that they’re not getting, though they should be, from Enbridge. What are we to do?
So here’s what we learned today: just like us, many landowners on phase one have no idea what’s currently going on. Enbridge sent their contractors out to do restoration, did a half-assed job about it (forgive our language), and then disappeared, leaving all sorts of problems behind and no one for individual property owners to talk to about those problems. We’re experiencing this ourselves. Our last right of way agent retired and the person we contacted in his stead to help address some restoration matters we’re experiencing seems to have gone awol. He promised a call “in a couple of days” almost two weeks ago. Why? We have no idea.
And so it is with a distressed landowner who wrote to us today from over in Howell. Enbridge has left huge ruts and a gigantic bowl of water (and it’s not like it’s been raining lately!) on his property, among other things. And he has nowhere to turn. No one to call (no one, at least, who will return his calls). He is feeling “frustrated” and “ignored” (his words). He just wants some basic information, some simple communication. But from Enbridge: nothing. And this is what he’s left with:
We received another email today from a landowner on phase two. She’s also feeling frustrated, but also lied to and misled. She has a situation in which Enbridge told her, repeatedly, for months that they would be boring beneath the road that leads into her cul-de-sac, rather than cutting a ditch across it. Then, right before construction began this week, they informed her that they’d have to cut in after all. But they also assured her they would do so in such a way that would still allow access into the cul-de-sac so that she could, you know, get to her house. So what happened next? Well, they went ahead and cut across the entire road. Just look; it’s all blocked off:
So here’s the thing: Enbridge can posture and tell pleasing tales and pretend like they care and give assurances until they’re blue in the face. But the facts on the ground could not be more clear: Enbridge leaves landowners in the dark, tells them misleading stories, ignores their phone calls, and creates more and more bad feelings, leaves more and more landowners frustrated and helpless. These aren’t the grumblings of revolutionary environmentalists or people who just like to bitch and whine (one of the landowners who wrote to us today said he hasn’t said anything up to now because he doesn’t like to complain; we believe him!); they’re not even windbag bloggers. They’re just regular people who don’t want to stir up trouble, but just want to get on with their lives.
It’s become quite clear to us that people at Enbridge like Doug Aller and Mike Harris, the people whose specific job it is to make sure that landowners are dealt with respectfully, are unwilling to do anything at all to fix these persistent problems; they won’t even return emails or phone calls. So what is it going to take to get someone higher up the payscale, someone like, say, Mark Sitek or Stephen Wuori or Al Monaco to take these matters seriously? To show some real leadership and make sure that the people down the line take care of business in a way that is commensurate with the corporate rhetoric? Do they just lack the integrity and honesty to face this situation for what it is, to live up to their own stated corporate values? Do they lack the simple human decency that would otherwise compel them to not accept that the landowners in Michigan feel helpless, frustrated, and abused?
So, Enbridge readers, this one is for you: if there is ANYONE at your company who cares even the tiniest bit about the frustrated man with the ruts and standing water on his property who is frustrated and just wants to know what in heaven’s name is going on with restoration, please contact us here and we will give you his name and number (without a word of acrimony or criticism or any carping whatsoever about ourselves and our own situation; we promise) so that he can just obtain some basic information and maybe get a decent night’s sleep.
We apologize that we’re a little late alerting you to the latest from everybody’s favorite Michigan hero. We are knee deep in work matters and have fallen way behind on a number of planned posts. We’re still not done with our landowners stories series; there are restoration updates and ongoing difficulties to discuss further (including that curious contractor business we mentioned last week), plenty of phase two matters to discuss, and the final word on whether the pipeline industry is willing to put its money where its mouth is (what’s your guess?!). We’re trying to get to it all, really we are…
But back to our Michigan hero. No, we don’t mean Max Scherzer. We mean Beth Wallace.
Beth has a very important post up over at the NWF’s Wildlife Promise blog regarding the ongoing Line 5 matter– you know, that line that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Thanks to Beth’s very hard (we’re tempted to say heroic) work on this issue, NWF now has video of footage of just what that pipe looks like. But tuck the kids into bed first; it’s kind of scary.
We will of course continue to keep you informed about this serious issue. In fact, we’re hoping we can convince that very same Beth Wallace to contribute a little something right here on this blog. Stay tuned!
Odd that people who like to think of themselves as such good neighbors can be such awful neighbors. Honestly, what kind of neighbor comes to your place and somehow manages to intrude upon all of the things you hold most dear? First, they messed with our natural resources (and they may well be messing with them even more), then they trampled on our properties, then they went messing with our beer.
And now they’re sticking their noses in our hunting season.
Yep, that’s right. Michigan sportsmen and sportswomen can’t just go out and enjoy hunting season as they’ve always done without being reminded (by our very own DNR) of Enbridge’s path of destruction. And what a shame, since the inside of one of those stretches of pipe would probably make an excellent deer blind. Just check out this press release which fell upon our desk today.
We wonder what’s next on Enbridge’s list? An interruption of the Tigers’ World Series bid?
Happy Monday everyone. This week, among other things we’ll be discussing a couple of newspaper articles from phase two of the Line 6B project, one from Griffith, Indiana and the other from Niles, Michigan. What do the two articles have in common? Well, they both feature some of that good old fashioned Enbridge public relations film-flammery. Here’s part one:
Over the past year or so, we think we’ve established pretty clearly that the things Enbridge’s spokespersons say can rarely be trusted. Their utterances can generally be grouped into five categories:
- Statements that are true, BUT...
- Statements that are hollow and vacuous
- Statements that simply can’t be verified
- Statements that are terribly misleading
- And statements that are simply not true
We’re not sure if there’s some sort of training manual that teaches these people how to communicate this way, whether it just somehow comes naturally to them, or whether it’s the result of imbibing the Enbridge culture. But what we do know is that the obvious sixth category– just saying things that are honest, forthright, and transparent– is an area into which Enbridge spokespersons rarely stray; perhaps they occasionally get there accidentally.
At any rate, our latest specimen of Enbridge PR-speak comes from the Northwest Indiana Times. Apparently, Enbridge will be removing a dozen trees from a local park in Griffith, Indiana. That fact is uncontroversial, as the Town Council reached an agreement with Enbridge and received compensation months ago. The problematic part is when Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Smith (you may recall her from months ago) says this:
Enbridge has a neutral footprint program, so for every tree the company removes, it will plant a new one, Smith said. However, trees will not be replanted into the easement due to the safety issues, Smith said.
What we have here is a Category Four statement (terribly misleading). Why? Well, just imagine that you are a casual reader of this Griffith news article. You would likely come away from reading it with the idea in your head that Enbridge will be replanting all the trees they cut down– including the dozen or so they’re cutting down at that town park. Then later, when you are driving home and you see the enormous swath of denuded land that Enbridge has cut through your county and beyond, you might understandably think, “Well, that’s quite a lot of tree removal they’re doing, but at least they’re going to replant them.” At some other time, you might notice somewhere around town that Enbridge is taking down large quantities of trees on someone’s property– at which point you might reasonably say to yourself, “Wow, that would suck to see all the trees in your yard getting cut down. But at least Enbridge is going to replant them.” And as a result of all of this, you might well find yourself saying to someone during casual conversation at dinner, “Man, Enbridge sure has cut down a lot of trees around these parts. But while that’s a little unfortunate, I learned from the newspaper that they will be replanting all the trees they cut down. And that’s pretty neat. They sure are a respectful and responsible company. Let’s raise a toast to Enbridge!”
And that’s just how Jennifer Smith and Enbridge like it.
Unfortunately, all of those thoughts you’d be having and that positive impression you’d have based on your (quite reasonable) understanding of Jennifer Smith’s statement would be very, very wrong. You see, while Enbridge might very well be planting a dozen trees in that park in Griffith to replace the ones they’re cutting down, they absolutely will NOT be replanting new trees for every tree they cut down all around town and on people’s property. Despite the rosy, generous, responsible impression conveyed by Jennifer Smith’s blithe statement, that is not at all how their “neutral footprint program” works.
You see, it’s not really true that Enbridge plants a new tree for every tree the company removes. It certainly isn’t true when it comes to trees on individual properties; believe us, we’ve asked. Moreover, to the extent that Enbridge DOES replant trees to offset those that they remove, they don’t necessarily replant them in the same place where they took them down. Rather, the slightly misleadingly named “Tree for a Tree” program is really just a way to try and offset, in some general way, the depletion of resources as a result of some project as a whole. We are quite confident that nobody has been out counting the number of trees Enbridge has cut down along Line 6B and equally confident that nobody is then making sure the same number get planted as a result. Our best guess is that there is some general formula for this neutral footprint: X number of acres of forest were affected (which probably doesn’t include individual properties) so somewhere up in some Canadian wilderness (or who knows where), Enbridge pays to have that same X number of acres planted with some saplings– or something. But there is no real way to verify that that actually happens (if Enbridge plants a tree in the woods and no one is there to see it…). Nevertheless, Enbridge does pretend like they keep some sort of scrupulous count of trees; they keep a running tally on their website–which is itself a Category Three infraction: that number can’t possibly be verified!
Why does all this matter? Well, as always, we just think the truth matters– even though Enbridge and Jennifer Smith, it would appear, do not. But it also matters because there are lots of us along Line 6B who have been devastated by the loss of our trees and more than a little dismayed to learn that the Tree for a Tree program Jennifer Smith is so proud to tout in order to make Enbridge look so very neighborly does not actually apply to us. We have heard that there may well be some alternative tree replanting program that might well apply to us, but despite our numerous and repeated attempts over the course of several months to obtain some information about that program– phone calls, emails, follow up emails– we’ve gotten nowhere. If that somehow magically changes, we’ll let you know.
If you’ve been keeping up with our series of Landowner Stories, then you know that what’s on the minds of most phase one landowners is restoration. It’s certainly been on ours. This morning, Sam the dog wanted to take a tour of some of the work in the neighborhood. What we saw was not very pretty. To the right, for example, is the current state of yard that was seeded at least six weeks ago, maybe longer.
And here’s what it looks like in our backyard, which was seeded a month ago. Note the bare spots, indicating the poor mulch job.
We also noticed that there is a new restoration contractor on the scene– an outfit brought in all the way from Idaho. We find this turn of events very interesting and are working on a much longer post about restoration work on phase one and the companies Enbridge has hired to do that work. It’s quite a tale. Please stay tuned!
Since it’s been a little while since we’ve posted any, you may have thought we were done with our series on landowner stories (don’t forget about our previous installments!). But we’ve got more! Discerning readers have probably already seen plenty of patterns, plenty of similarities among these landowners’ experiences. Those patterns suggest that we’re not just talking about a handful of mistakes here. Rather, we’re talking about some persistent, widespread, and systemic problems. Does Enbridge have the integrity to own up to them? To take responsibility? To change its ways?
Meet three more unhappy landowners:
Although the pipeline is not directly on my property, Enbridge dug a huge pit across the only road that accesses my home. I was given less than 24 hours notice, no compensation whatsoever and told that they have no land agent that I can go to because their easement is not directly on my property. They routinely trespass across my property and have damaged trees and tore up the road on my property, outside of their easement on the neighbor’s property. They agreed to repair the entire road but never did and I have a large crack across the front of my car from the pits that were left ‘after’ they finished restoring the section the dug up. During the week that I had no access to my home they paid for all neighbors in the same situation to stay at hotels in addition to direct financial compensation. I was never offered this and simply told that I had no land agent to speak to because the pipeline was not directly on my property.
Enbridge has interfered with access to my home for the better part of 2 years during this project and some of their employees on site have been rude and offensive liars. (They even refused to let a propane delivery truck access my home during the winter and then blatantly lied about it. )
I don’t think people outside of the work area’s understand that Enbridge has ‘people’ out here all of the time. We don’t know who these people are and what their backgrounds are. They are nothing like a public utility which has some form of accountability.
Wendy K. Turner, Howell
In regards to the Enbridge pipeline my comments are as follows:
Enbridge told me through their representative and [attorney] Kim [Savage] last year that they would be ready beginning December last year.
They seeded the grass in July this year and of course we cannot use the pasture this year and the next year because their contract with the company who seeded the grass is good for 2 additional years. The ground can sink; therefore no fence can be placed for the horses.
Enbridge worked through the weekends and the State Police I called mentioned that there is nothing they could do.
Enbridge told Consumers Energy to cut some trees because they wanted to relocate the current power line. Enbridge didn’t even talk to my wife or myself to extend the easement in that case. By accident my wife caught Consumers Energy. The trees are still there and not cleaned up, neither did we receive a re-imbursement for them.
What about property value coming down? If there is a leak and contamination nobody will buy the property. The type of material which is going through the pipes under the high pressure increases the threat of damaging the pipes in comparison with “normal” oil. Enbridge still has not finished the spill cleanup on the Michigan west side of the state.
The experience with Enbridge we had was that they are doing what they want and obviously Michigan Government is supporting this with pride.
Georg Galda, Fenton
In our minds we have no restoration. The grade was terrible, lumpy and bumpy. And not all the land was graded. Some (scant) seed was scattered. And some straw was put down. Again, not everywhere. We have weeds growing now. We have sent emails and gotten no response.
Barbara Atkin, White Oak Twp.