Source: Sherman Publications

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Enbridge starts work before twp. deal is completed

by Susan Bromley

December 12, 2012

Brandon Twp.- Bill Dinnan ordered Enbridge, the company who plans to replace the Line 6B petroleum pipeline, and its subcontractors to stop work in September after they leveled dozens of trees in the township in violation of a woodlands ordinance.

On Tuesday, the township's building director found Enbridge subcontractors were clearing trees again along the 3-mile route of the first phase of the project in the township, even though a woodlands ordinance agreement had not been signed.

"Procedures are really important in government," noted Jeff Axt, township resident and founder of POLAR (Protecting Our Land and Rights), which has filed court actions against Enbridge in efforts to make the company comply with proper permits and ordinances in the communities affected by the pipeline. "This is about laws. If you or I did this (violated the law), we'd be in jail."

"Enbridge was notified and said their subcontractors had begun work again by mistake and they would have them immediately cease work," said Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman. "Enbridge's earlier communication with subcontractors indicated the document should have been signed by last week, but Enbridge failed to keep them abreast of progress on the documents."

During their Dec. 3 meeting the township agreed to settlement terms on the first phase of the project with the multi-billion dollar Canada-based company that announced plans more than a year ago to replace approximately 210 miles of the Line 6B petroleum pipeline from Griffith, Ind. to Sarnia, Ont. The first phase of the project includes three miles in Brandon Township and three miles in Groveland Township. However, the settlement was not to be signed until after amendments were incorporated and the documents were reviewed.

At a special meeting Dec. 10, board members approved a presented draft of the settlement agreement, but the documents were still unsigned pending agreement between Enbridge and Hubbell, Roth & Clark, the township's engineering firm, regarding an inspection schedule and a map displaying the construction route in the township.

On Wednesday, Thurman said she was "waiting with pen in hand" as HRC was to have met with Enbridge officials that day.

"It's unfortunate that it is taking as long as it is to work out the details, but we want to make sure everything is reviewed and evaluated properly," she said.