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Case: Enbridge Pipeline Release

Scientists assess impacts to mussel shells from response-related boat traffic. Scientists assess impacts to mussel shells from response-related boat traffic.
Date of incident:

July 25, 2010


Marshall, MI, on a tributary to the Kalamazoo River


Case status:

Cleanup work continues. Trustees have conducted preassessment work for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and have issued a Notice of Intent to proceed with restoration planning. Trustees have developed a set of criteria for selecting restoration projects.


On July 25, 2010, a failure occurred in a 30-inch diameter pipeline releasing diluted bitumen, a heavy form of crude oil, into a tributary creek of the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, MI. This type of oil is also referred to as "tar sands oil." Enbridge, the owner and operator of the pipeline, estimated that approximately 843,000 gallons spilled. Oil traveled approximately 40 miles downstream in the Kalamazoo River. Containment and absorbent booms were placed and the oil did not pass Morrow Lake, located about 10 miles east of Kalamazoo, MI. NOAA provided trajectory support to Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan to predict transport of oil in the Kalamazoo River. NOAA and partner agencies also provided recommendations to EPA on ways to minimize the impact of the cleanup activities by identifying ecologically sensitive areas and providing information on cleanup techniques.

NOAA is coordinating with co-trustees and Enbridge, to collect information as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) . The purpose of NRDA is to determine the appropriate type and amount of restoration needed to compensate the public for injuries to or lost use of their natural resources from the oil spill and associated response activities.

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