Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life on the River: Suing & Settling with Enbridge (Part 3)

Host: Rebecca Williams

Wayne and Sue Groth used to live near Talmadge Creek, where the oil spill occurred last summer. They eventually sold their home to the energy company, Enbridge. (Photo by Steve Carmody)

A year ago... a ruptured pipeline spewed more than 840,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River. 

The crude oil had a big environmental impact. It also affected the lives of thousands of people living in the spill zone. The pipeline’s owners have spent the past year reimbursing many of them for their losses. Steve Carmody has the final part of our series: 

Wayne Groth says the odor of the oil was overpowering the first night. Talmadge Creek runs right past the home he and his wife Sue lived in for 22 years. The oil flowed down Talmadge Creek into the Kalamazoo River. 

Wayne Groth says it wasn’t long after the spill that clipboard carrying employees of Enbridge started walking through his neighborhood, promising to clean up oil. He says they made another promise too... 

“They said if you’re still not happy with the job... you could sell your property to them. They would buy it from us.” 

Wayne Groth says he and his wife initially were only half interested in Enbridge’s offer to buy their home. He says they were satisfied with the cleanup, but... 

“They kept asking ‘Do you want us to do an appraisal on your property?’ I kept telling them no. But my accountant is the one who told me ‘you really should have them do that and take a look at the opportunities that are out there to buy another piece of real estate. It’s a buyer’s market now.’”


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