Statements from Enbridge News Briefing on Marshall, Michigan Pipeline Leak, September 8, 2010
Excerpt from Joint News Conference, 3 p.m. Eastern Time, september 8, 2010
Patrick Daniel, President & CEO, Enbridge Inc.
We continue to make steady progress in our clean-up efforts as we move towards our September 27th target date for completion of primary clean-up.
Site A, the leak site, is now restored and seeded and we are awaiting final sign-off from the EPA.
As well, shoreline restoration efforts are underway along Talmadge Creek as we begin now to backfill and contour the shoreline, which is really a very significant step towards returning it to its pre-spill condition. Those initiatives, of course, are subject to the further evaluations mentioned on the call earlier by the EPA.
Also as mentioned by EPA we have over 1,500 people employed directly on the clean-up, more than 500 of whom are Michigan residents.
Today we’ve made numerous payments in respect of claims related to the spill and we’re working towards resolution of all outstanding claims.
We have also purchased four homes and we’re in the final stages of purchase of approximately a dozen more. There are roughly 50 homes that are being appraised at this point in time and at that point homeowners will decide whether they want to proceed with our home buyout alternative.
Visits to our community centers and calls to our call center have steadily tapered off although both remain open from eight a.m. to eight p.m. for residents with questions or claims.
We’ve worked very hard to develop a claims process that’s fair, that is accessible, that is reasonable and is efficient. We have been and we’ll continue to be fair and forthright in our administration of the claims program.
To help ensure that we achieve our objectives of serving and protecting the best interests of those residents affected by the oil spill I’m very pleased to announce today that we’ve appointed Dennis Archer as Special Counsel with respect to the claims and settlement process.
Mr. Archer will be well known to the people of Michigan. He served as the Mayor of Detroit from 1994 to 2001. He’s a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan and former President of the American Bar Association.
We’ve asked him to review the claims process and, if required, recommend ways to improve that process. And as committed from the outset, Enbridge will honor all non-fraudulent claims resulting from the spill, and people do not have to sue Enbridge.
I’m going to conclude with a very brief operational update. As we reported last week Enbridge submitted all remaining information to the Office of Pipeline Safety including the results of our integrity digs and the hydro test in connection with the re-start process for Line 6B. As you know, we had requested approval to resume service at lower-than-normal operating pressures based on all of the actions taken with the completion of the number of the pipeline integrity inspections tests and analysis.