Michigan Oil Spill Among Largest In Midwest History

Michigan Oil Spill Among Largest In Midwest History

July 27, 2010

It is being called one of the worst Midwest oil spills in recent history, and now local, state and federal agencies are responding to the leak of up to one-million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River.

A pipeline that carries about eight million gallons of oil a day from Indiana to Canada started leaking Monday morning.

“The oil traveled down Tallmadge Creek, which is a tributary to the Kalamazoo River,” says Lorraine Grymala, spokeswoman for Enbridge Pipelines.

The Environmental Protection Agency believes that up to one-million gallons of oil may have been released.

“The line was shut down immediately,” says Grymala. “We have isolation valves that are located on either side of where leak occurred. So, both of those have been closed.”

Booms and skimmers have been placed up and down the Kalamazoo River. They are supposed to stop and capture the oil. The neighbors fear it’s not good enough.

Don Toppen says, “The boom isn’t doing anything. Oil’s going right underneath it and it keeps going downstream.”

“This goes to Kalamazoo to Morrow Pond, and from there to Saugatuck and then Lake Michigan,” says Steve Squires, who lives near the river. “It’s headed that way.”

Enbridge says it is their responsibility to clean up the mess, but right now it’s focusing on controlling the oil, and preventing it from spreading further down the river.

Several volunteers showed up Tuesday at Squaw Creek, to tend to several birds coated in oil.

Diane Green says, “There’s no oil right here. The geese came up from the Kalamazoo River, trying to find a safe place to be. Cause the river is full of oil.”

The volunteers were told not to touch the animals.

Meantime, Enbridge says it’s working with state and federal agencies to deal with affected wildlife.

“As of earlier today, we have a focus wildlife group that has come-in and they are going to be in charge of animals that have been affected by the spill,” says Grymala.

Governor Jennifer Granholm is going to tour the area tonight. WZZM 13 News will have more on that, tonight at 11 p.m.


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On Monday night (July 26) an oil pipeline – owned by Enbridge Energy Inc. – burst and spilled over 1,000,000+ gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan. Michiganders are scrambling to stop the flow from getting into Lake Michigan, but I fear their efforts are in vain.

According to the latest local news reports, it seems that Enbridge was slow to react to the emergency, while under reporting the actual amount of oil that was leaked into the river. Since Monday, the situation has grown even worse. Birds and other animal wildlife, coated with oil, have been found. People living along the river have been warned to evacuate the area along the river way and not to drink their well water for fear of contamination.

1,000,000+ gallons of oil may not sound like much to some, considering the amount of oil now floating just underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, but in such a confined area – like the Kalamazoo River – that amount is devastating. As the oil continues to flow west, it will soon reach Lake Michigan, affecting the drinking water of millions of people, killing all wildlife, and despoiling the true beauty of the great lake.

I’m really starting to believe that corporations don’t give a damn about anything other than their profits. As I stated in one of my previous blog posts (Who Put Corporations in Charge?), “…what good is money, after all, if you don’t have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat without fear of contamination?”

Comment by The Destructionist

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