Major oil leak in Michigan river system

submitted by maxplayer on 03/23/14 1

Major oil leak in Michigan river system Kalamazoo County officials declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon as more than 800,000 gallons of oil released into a creek began making its way downstream in the Kalamazoo River. "I just came from Fort Custer and you can smell it now," Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Pali Matyas said. "... It's all rolling downhill and there are a lot of complications." Matyas said police, local fire departments and local hazardous-materials companies are working to set up booms to trap the crude oil but workers are not able to use their trucks to remove oil from the water because high water levels have made the areas inaccessible to the vehicles. "We're racing against time here too because the weather is supposed to get pretty bad tomorrow," Matyas said. County officials said they began an emergency response at about 6 p.m. Monday after news spread that a 30-inch oil pipeline in Marshall sprung a leak and released oil into the Talmadge Creek, which feeds into the Kalamazoo River. Houston-based Enbridge Energy Partners said the pipeline has been shut down but that did not happen before more than 800,000 gallons flowed into the creek. Kalamazoo County officials said Tuesday that local health officials are monitoring the oil spill and advised residents to avoid all contact with water from the Kalamazoo River "until further notice," according to a news release issued just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. "All surface water activities, including swimming, wading, fishing and boating/canoeing/kayaking, should cease," officials said in the news release. "Additionally, due to the fumes associated with a crude oil spill, people are warned to avoid (spending) time in the immediate area around the river. This order will remain in effect until further investigation indicates that risk has been minimized." After Oil Spills in Michigan and the Gulf, Will Washington Act? While the story is still developing, there are already a number of parallels between this spill in Michigan and the Gulf oil spill. The Messenger's Ed Brayton reports that — sound familiar? — reporters are being denied access to the spill site. And Todd Heywood notes, "As in the early days of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, estimates of the amount of oil released vary, with the company claiming a lower number than the government." washingtonindependent.com/92896/after-oil-spills-in-michigan-and-the-gulf-will-washington-act hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php

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