CERESCO, Mich. (WOOD) - On the second anniversary of the nation's most expensive onshore oil spill, neighbors in the Kalamazoo River town of Ceresco don't share a common opinion of Enbridge and its $800 million cleanup.
Despite the yellow boom out in the river above the Ceresco Dam, there's still a sheen near the riverbank and the occasional smell of oil.
"I believe that Enbridge has been very fair," said neighbor Margie Cole, who has lived in her home near the river for more than 60 years. "I believe they have done everything that they can do to make everything right."
After the spill, which fouled 35 miles of the river and wetlands, Cole and her husband were forced to leave their home for seven weeks.
"The smell was so bad the night that this happened, and we didn't know what it was, and I had to leave, I could not breathe," she said.
But she refused Enbridge's offer to buy her home.
"There's ducks over there swimming, and all kinds of animals, and all kinds of people in the river swimming and fishing," said Cole. "They've really cleaned it up, much better than it was."
And Enbridge has built or improved five portages on the river and fixed some roads.
But that's not good enough, said Deb Miller, whose family owns a carpet shop above the dam and a home just below it. There's a sheen behind both her shop and her home.
"We know there's submerged oil behind our store," Miller said. "It's documented by the EPA that this is one of the tough sites."
"A million gallons is a lot to clean up; they spilled it, they need to," she added. "I quite honestly am not going to pat them on the back for doing that. That's their responsibility. My concern is what's left."
Today, an Enbridge spokesman told 24 Hour News 8 the company plans to stay for years to "manage the sheen."
"We're not done," spokesman Jason Manshum said. "We're going to be here for years, working with the DEQ [state Department of Environmental Quality] in the water and the overbanks to ensure that this is the natural resource that it should be."
Manshum said Enbridge has removed the "vast majority" of the oil, but is still removing some sediment and using boats to skim sheen off several sites on the river. The Ceresco Dam area, he said, is one of those sites. The state has found the water is safe for swimming, boating and fishing.
Wesley Eaton kayaked and fished the Kalamazoo River Wednesday, downstream from where the pipeline broke. He even conducted his own informal test -- tipping over into the river.
"And I didn't get anything on me," he said. "I'd say with getting the oil out, I think it's a pretty good job; I haven't noticed any sheen or anything, haven't noticed anything on the fish or anything."
Also Wednesday, three Central Michigan University students continued their work on a survey of mussels in the river, saying the test could help guage the river's health. The test will take some time to complete, they said.
It's likely that when the oil flowed through, the mussels closed up to protect themselves, said student Samantha Parker. But mussels live on the riverbed, where oil settled, and rely on fish, many of which died, she said.
"This site is the closest site we have to the oil spill, actually," said Parker as she prepared to enter the river at Saylor's Landing. "And we do find oil still here when we come and go in the water. As far as mussels go, we don't find that many, but that could be for a number of reasons. It doesn't necessarily have to be because of the oil spill."
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.
Those receiving the 2013 White House holiday card will see a design made by a Grand Rapids artist.