MARSHALL, Mich. (AP) - Federal officials have released photographs with 5,000 pages of documents related to the pipeline rupture in southwestern Michigan that polluted the Kalamazoo River and a tributary creek nearly two years ago.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating what caused the leak, which spilled more than 800,000 gallons of crude near Marshall in Calhoun County. Spokesman Peter Knudson said Monday the NTSB expects to reach a conclusion this summer.
The newly released material includes photos of the damaged pipe, reports outlining the sequence of events following the July 25, 2010 rupture and interviews with emergency responders and officials with Enbridge Inc., owner of the pipeline.
The federal report shows the first 911 call about the spill came in at 9:25 p.m. Sunday, July 25, 2010. Marshall firefighters were dispatched seven minutes later.
It wasn't until 17 hours later on Monday that the Enbridge Control Center was notified and the ruptured segment was closed off.
When asked to provide an assessment of Enbridge's initial emergency response, the EPA responded: "Enbridge experienced significant difficulties locating necessary resources, due primarily to its lack of familiarity with contractors located anywhere in Region 5 other than Minnesota."
"As indicated, these are factual reports and information that will contribute to the NTSB's final report; we await the NTSB's views on the incident that will be shared in that final report," said Enbridge Senior Manager of Communications Terri Larson.
Enbridge also responded to the report in a statement on its website:
"The findings in the NTSB factual reports posted to date are generally consistent with the findings in the Enbridge Report."
It goes on to say:
"Safety has always been core to our operations. We have reviewed our processes and procedures since the Line 6B incident, and we have enhanced our focus on the safety and integrity of our operations even further."
The 30-inch line extends from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario. Enbridge announced plans last week to enlarge the pipe so it can carry more oil.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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