Tuesday, 25 January 2011

1 Million Gallon Oil Spill Threatens Lake Michigan

Enbridge, Inc. owns the pipeline that burst and leaked oil into a stream that feeds the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Both EPA officials and company officials place the amount of leaked oil between 800,000 and 900,000 gallons at this point. All are in agreement that no more oil is being leaked at this time.

At this point, the oil is still about 80 miles from reaching Lake Michigan, but it has already traveled some distance and efforts to contain the oil are being criticized openly by Michigan's governor. Roughly 400 workers are believed to be assigned to try to contain the oil spill, which has already produced a strong smell and sheen on the Kalamazoo River. Reports of wildlife covered in oil are also surfacing.

This news comes just as BP and the federal government seem to be closing in on finally capping the well in the Gulf of Mexico. New reports on that disaster are indicating that a large portion of the leaked oil will be consumed by various organisms or simply evaporated from the surface of the water. That is good news for the local ecosystem, but may pose problems politically when the federal government attempts to assess fines and damages to BP.

BP's proposed payments to those affected by the spill will also likely be impacted by a faster-than-expected disappearance of the oil in the Gulf. Of course, the well has not yet been permanently sealed and anything is possible. But if things move forward as planned and the well is sealed in the coming weeks, it will be interesting to note just how BP and the feds deal with the fact that vast amounts of spilled oil will be unaccounted for.

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 7/29/2010