Marshall Residents Looking for Answers

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Charles Moreau and his family live right behind the Kalamazoo River in Marshall. After July's oil spill happened, he said Enbridge officials told them they couldn't stay.

"We went and stayed in a hotel for four days, the kids were with me," Moreau said.

Since then, the cleanup on the river has been on-going. Which initially Moreau said, had been an inconvenience.

"They've got this huge presence," he said of Enbridge, "people in town on the river, air boats, helicopters."

But beyond that, he said, neighbors really just want to know what's going on.

"We've been asking people driving through the neighborhood if they know of anything," Moreau said.

Enbridge told News Ten it is continuing its effort to clear the river and creek of oil. They are also regularly monitoring the water wells. So far, no contamination has been detected.

Neighbors said they hope something comes out of the Congressional hearings and Enbridge is held accountable. But others are taking matters into their own hands.

"There have been several law suits filed, I filed the first mass law suit," Attorney Mike Obriant said.

Obriant represents 75 people who live near the river in Battle Creek.

"It is a mobile home park," he said "There are pregnant folks, there are older folks, there are some with preexisting conditions."

Obriant said his clients couldn't afford to leave for hotels, and therefore they were exposed to carcinogens for at least four weeks.

"We want someone to be responsible for this," he said, "and we want them to help those people out."

The bigger picture, he said, is to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

It's clear several issues will have to be worked out well-after the cleanup is complete.

An Enbridge spokesperson said they should have the primary cleanup, around the Kalamazoo River, done in time for the EPA deadline of September 27th. But work will continue there for a long time.

Obriant's suit was filed in state court last Tuesday.

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