As the spring weather slowly comes to Michigan, Enbridge resumes its clean up of the Kalamazoo River from the July oil spill, but media attention has been constant throughout the winter.
In news stories released nearly every day throughout February, the Canadian company has faced criticism and questions regarding its safety record, the Kalamazoo River clean up practices and concerns for future problems in pipelines through many wilderness areas in the US and Canada.
In March, a group called PERM (People Enbridge Ruined in Michigan) created a hoax video in which Enbridge advertises its attempt to collect human hair from salons as a way to better clean up inevitable future oil spills.
Enbridge, in a denial of the video, criticized the group as “making light of a serious issue,” and reiterated its focus on safety and social responsibility.
The MyHairCares group issued a statement in regards to the satirical nature of the video and its message.
“This was a funny way to dramatize the fact that neither Enbridge nor any other oil company can prevent spills, and that they basically have no cleanup plan. What’s happening in Michigan proves that.”
Meanwhile, the ban on all contact with the Kalamazoo River will remain in place.
The next step in the spring process will be a survey of the spill area to determine how oil has settled over the winter, focused especially on places where submerged oil may have deposited in the riverbed.
Residents are now dealing with the spill aftermath. Living within the cleanup zone means constantly dealing with noisy machinery and worrying about water safety. Others are dealing with the loss of business that comes along with the ban on river contact, such as those involved in fishing, camping and boating recreation on the river.