LANSING, Mich., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Canadian pipeline company Enbridge needs to answer for influencing Michigan residents and using illegal workers to cleanup an oil spill, lawmakers say.
Line 6B, a section of the Lakehead pipeline system, ruptured in late July in southern Michigan, dumping around 20,000 barrels of oil into regional waters.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Mich., who represents the area of southern Michigan where the spill occurred, say Enbridge has many questions to answer.
They say Enbridge gave southern Michigan residents hotel rooms and other compensation in exchange for forfeiting their rights to sue the company for damages, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The lawmakers also accuse Enbridge of pressuring residents to give the company access to their medical records. In their letter to Holder, they say the actions by the Canadian company are "reprehensible," the Free Press adds.
Meanwhile, the Web publication Michigan Messenger said Hallmark Industrial, a subcontractor used in the cleanup effort, used undocumented workers to help with what would normally require training in the disposal of hazardous materials.
Enbridge, the Free Press says, didn't respond to the lawmaker's concerns. Instead, the company on its Web site said it was conducting tests to make sure Line 6B is safe to restart.