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Michigan Oil Spill Update: Oil in Kalamazoo River

877,000 gallons leak from busted pipeline


Oil floats in the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Mich., Tuesday, July 27, 2010. Crews were working Tuesday to contain and clean up oil from a ruptured pipeline that poured into a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, coating birds and fish. (AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette, Jonathon Gruenke)

A state of disaster was declared after an estimated 877,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Talmadge Creek and into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan Monday night–37,000 gallons more than originally thought.

Congressman Says Enbridge Didn’t Report Michigan Spill Early Enough


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Cleanup crews were still working Wednesday to contain the spill and to save birds and fish coated in oil. The spill resulted from a leak in the 30-inch pipeline, which carries 8 million gallons of oil every day from Indiana to Ontario.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm toured the area by helicopter Tuesday night and said she wasn’t satisfied with the spill response.


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“There needs to be a lot more done,” Granholm said. “There are not enough resources on the river right now.”

The cause of the spill is still under investigation.

Officials say the spill appears to be contained and should not spread any more than it already has.

Enbridge, the company who owns the pipeline, dispatched crews with oil skimmers and absorbent booms to minimize its environmental impact.

“This is our responsibility,” Enbridge’s president and chief executive Patrick D. Daniel said Tuesday evening in Battle Creek. “This is our mess. We’re going to clean it up.”

Groundwater testing is expected to begin soon and officials say so far they are satisfied with the results of air quality tests in the area. Residents are still advised to stay away from the river.

Enbridge has set up a center to help ducks, geese and other wildlife affected by the spill.

“We’d like to acknowledge the impact this has had on the people of Marshall and the surrounding community,” said Stephen J. Wuori, Executive Vice-President, Liquids Pipelines, Enbridge Inc. in a statement. “We extend our apologies to the people who have been affected by this. Enbridge understands that the leak has disrupted people’s lives and had a major impact on the people in this community, on the environment and on wildlife. We ask you for your patience and your input as we work to clean up this leak.”

With AP

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