Kalamazoo River Oil Spill: 800,000 Gallons of Oil Leak into Water
A State of Emergency Has Been Declared After 800,000 Gallons of Oil Leaked in to the Talmadge Creek, Which Flowed in to the Kalamazoo River in Michigan
Crews are working hard to try and clean-up and contain an oil spill in the Kalamazoo River after the oil leaked from Enbridge Energy Partners' oil pipeline on Monday.
Officials are warning residents to take care due to the strong odor of oil on the air, avoid any water from the Kalamazoo River and to stay away from the area if they can; about 20 homes have been evacuated. Clean-up crews are encountering problems while they try to set booms to trap the oil however, as high water levels are making it impossible to get the trucks down to the water to remove the oil from the surface.
There is concern also because the weather is supposed to get bad tomorrow, which could slow the process even further according to MLive.com.
"This is our top priority," said Enbridge spokeswoman Gina Jordan. "We're committed to containing the oil that has been spilled as quickly as possible."
The pipeline belongs to Canadian company Enbridge Inc, and it carries crude oil from Griffith Indiana to Sarnia. The leak occurred Monday morning near the Marshall Michigan pumping station near Battle Creek according to the CBC.
"We know that leak has had a major impact on people in that community and on the environment and on wildlife," said Enbridge spokeswoman Gina Jordan.
There have already been birds found covered in oil and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service are on the scene and working with crews.
NPR reports that oil has been sighted in about 16 miles of the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is being criticized for being slow to respond to the spill that many feel could have been smaller if crews responded quicker. The company is expected to cover all expenses related to the spill.
It has been called the 'largest spill in the history of the Midwest'.
It is estimated that about 94 million to 184 million gallons of oil spilled in to the Gulf of Mexico before the well was capped.