LANSING―State Sen. Mike Nofs pushed through the Senate today a resolution urging a seamless response to protect the health of Battle Creek area residents and reduce the environmental impact of a recent pipeline oil spill by Enbridge Energy Partners. Nofs championed the latest state and local efforts to contain the spill, which has dumped nearly 840,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River basin.
“It is absolutely essential that Enbridge and federal, state and local authorities work swiftly and closely together so we can minimize the impact of this oil spill on our community and the environment,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “Time is of the essence for a quick and coordinated response.”
In calling for passage of Senate Resolution 174, Nofs reiterated the potential impact of the spill could be devastating on area residents, job providers and wildlife. Oil-soaked birds and dead fish have been spotted on the banks of the river and the pungent odor of the oil can be smelled for miles. He said an animal care center will be opened at the old Belcher Auction facility located near Interstate 94 and Old U.S. 27. Fish and wildlife specialists will be available to help rehabilitate affected animals.
Nofs also called on the federal government to cut the regulatory red tape which has prevented Enbridge from getting to its site to conduct a full assessment of the damage to the pipeline and ensure that the leak has been fully stopped.
“Any delay in stopping this leak due to government red tape is unacceptable and must be resolved immediately,” Nofs said.
The Enbridge Energy Partners pipeline leaked oil into Talmadge Creek, a tributary of the 166-mile long Kalamazoo River, whose watershed is home to tens of thousands of people in the 19th Senate District. The oil reached the Kalamazoo River shortly after the spill occurred. A thick layer of oil is now making its way west downriver, leaking past the barriers set up to contain it.
Residents wishing to volunteer to help with cleanup may sign up on Nofs’ website at www.SenatorMikeNofs.com.