The New York Times reported yesterday that a new report issued by the National Wildlife Federation raises very serious concerns about the safety of an oil pipeline network running through the Great Lakes region that is operated by the oil company Enbridge. According to the group, the 59 year old pipeline network presents a particular risk due to its advanced age, but also because of the company's recent negative track record involving several high profile accidents. Adding to the concern over the pipeline is the fact that it is particularly vulnerable to equipment failure and runs across an uneven area of the Straits of Mackinac. This is the area where Lake Michigan intersects with Lake Huron.
Among Enbridge's recent problems was the July 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall, Michigan, in which more than 840,000 gallons of oil spilled. This spill forced the closure of a 39 mile stretch of the Kalamozoo River. Enbridge was hit with a $3.7 million civil fine for its failures relating to this spill. Then, in July of 2012, another of the company's pipelines sprung a leak in which approximately 50,000 gallons of oil spilled in a Wisconsin field. For its part, Enbridge claims it has improved pipeline safety in response to these disasters.
As can be seen, when oil and energy companies refuse to take their safety responsibilities seriously, disaster can, and often will, strike. And when this happens, it is imperative that those most affected by the corporate negligence attempt to hold these companies responsible. Of course, trying to hold a company accountable is no easy task. Often, large corporations will go to any measure to avoid responsibility. And they will have the resources to do so. That is why it is important to speak with an experienced victims' rights attorney immediately to determine whether a victim of corporate wrongdoing may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Pavich Law Group, P.C., have decades of experience taking on entities guilty of corporate malfeasance. If you believe you may have been harmed by the actions of a negligent company, contact the injury attorneys at Pavich Law Group, P.C. today for a free consultation.