CERESCO, Mich. (WOOD) - David Gallagher's home has been in his wife's family for decades, but it also has an easement -- which means part of the land belongs to Enbridge.
Enbridge, the company responsible for the 2010 oil spill in a Kalamazoo River tributary near Marshall, is currently working on laying a new pipeline from Indiana to Canada called 6B. It will replace the pipe the burst.
That work is putting the company's crews just feet from Gallagher's home in Ceresco, about five miles west of Marshall.
"The first week when the equipment came through, we had our windows open and our smoke detectors went off from the exhaust from the large equipment going through. You could feel the exhaust coming in and smell the diesel exhaust," said Gallagher.
The Gallaghers were compensated by Enbridge for what the company called a temporary inconvenience.
Gallagher said he and his wife were paid less than $24,000 for that 'inconvenience'. He doesn't believe that is enough money to cover long-term damages.
"Our house value, the depreciation the money that was paid out, you know, we didn't get nearly the deprecation value we got towards our house now," he said.
Enbridge says there is no proof Gallagher will lose any value to his home.
"Studies have shown on our pipeline as well as other energy transportation companies that values -- home values -- do not decrease with pipelines. There is not a direct correlation that we have found," Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum said.
Enbridge is able to do the work because it has an easement on Gallagher's property, which means it owns some of the land in his backyard.
Enbridge says they didn't have to pay Gallagher or other land owners, but they do because they want a good relationship with them. According to Manshum, Enbridge has eminent domain, which would give the company the right to lay the pipeline no matter what.
Gallagher said in a perfect world, Enbridge would shut down the current pipeline and wouldn't replace it. He said he didn't feel as if he had a choice in the matter.
"Nobody has a choice. This is a matter of big oil pushing their way through," he said.
Enbridge says the new 6B pipeline is replacing a pipeline that has been operating for more than 45 years. It says the new pipeline will be safer than continuing to operate the old one.
Enbridge also said they will restore Gallagher's property when they are finished.
There are currently 1,200 people working on the pipeline project, according to Enbridge.
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