Energy Environment Law
The Kalamazoo Gazette reports in
Judge to hear whistle-blower lawsuit of Kalamazoo River oil spill worker
A Calhoun County judge next week will hear a whistle-blower lawsuit from a former Kalamazoo River oil spill cleanup worker who said he was fired after telling the media and state and federal agencies that crews were told to cover up oil instead of cleaning it up.
John Bolenbaugh, of Athens, filed suit Nov. 9 against his former employer, SET Environmental Inc.
[A] brief says that the lawsuit stems from “massive operations engaging in cover-ups, lies and deceit.”
Enbridge, the brief claims, ordered contractors including SET to “deliberately and intentionally engage in improper
clean-up efforts, which included covering up oil, spreading out oil, and hiding spilled oil from the public and EPA.”
The lawsuit also claims that Bolenbaugh was wrongfully fired because he “reported and threatened to further report to the EPA and other public bodies what he believed to be illegal activities relating to the improper cleanup efforts.”
Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum said Wednesday night that the company “would never instruct a contractor to cover oil.”
“Since the outset of the incident, our goal has been to restore the area as close as possible to its preexisting condition,” Manshum said. “That is our only goal and we remain fully committed to that goal.”