Precision Pipeline, who runs the pipeline storage facility, is hired by Enbridge to expand Line 6B. In 2010, Line 6B ruptured in Marshall, MI spilling over 1 million gallons of toxic tar sands and diluents into Talmadge Creek, impacting 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River. Four years later, Enbridge states that the Kalamazoo River is the cleanest it has ever been while dragging its feet in clean-up efforts. Simultaneously, Enbridge states that the river will never be completely clean, and has meanwhile been expeditiously expanding the 6B pipeline system to carry a higher capacity of tar sands oil.
Acting to disrupt Precision Pipeline, 20-year-old Duncan Tarr and 22-year-old Dylan Ochala-Gorka, both Michigan residents and organizers with a group called the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MICATS), demand a halt to Enbridge’s expansion of line 6B as well as restitution for those still suffering from effects of the 2010 tar sands disaster.
“At one time there were woods that no one owned. Now our planet has been bought up, torn apart, and exploited for the profit of a few,” said Tarr, a resident of Grand Rapids. “My act of defiance is an act against this machine, meant to slow and halt its destruction, and protect the earth.”
This is not the first time MICATS protestors have protested at this storage facility right-of-way. Last month, on July 24 2014 and in commemoration of the 4-year anniversary of the Kalamazoo tar sands disaster, about 20 protestors held signs, chanted and repeatedly crossed paths with vehicles entering and exiting the storage facility, and two protestors were arrested.
And neither is MICATS the only organization opposing Enbridge operations. Earlier this month, protestors under the banner “Dam Line 9” occupied a construction site for Enbridge Line 9 for a week, resulting in arrests and eviction. Line 9 is a natural gas pipeline which runs through Quebec and Ontario and connects with 6B at Sarnia, Ontario, and which is being reversed and adapted to pump tar sands oil.
“It is those who profit from the exploitation of environment and people who need the healing and love the most,” said Ochala-Gorka, a resident of Livonia, MI. “If putting my body between big oil and profits is necessary, I will continue to stand up between them and their meaningless money.”
For more information, including updates, testimonies, pictures and video (to come later today), please visit:
The Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands (MI CATS) seeks to unite the people of Michigan towards a common goal of stopping all transportation and refining of tar sands oil in the state and advocating against the production/transportation of tar sands everywhere.