Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

BP Crude Oil Spills Into Lake Michigan

The newly modernized BP Whiting oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana, set up less than a year ago to process Canadian tar sands, confirmed that a malfunction at the facility allowed crude oil to spill into Lake Michigan Monday, March 24. According to an article in today's Chicago Tribune, it is unknown when the oil spill began and how long it continued to leak into the lake, but an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the leak was sealed by 9 p.m. Monday night.

Mike Beslow, EPA’s emergency response coordinator, told the Tribune that there appeared to be no negative effects on Lake Michigan drinking water. The spill occurred near Chicago city limits on the Lake Michigan shoreline. In the article, BP spokesman Scott Dean said the company is now assessing exactly how much oil was spilled into the lake. Dean said he believes the spill was confined to the cove near the refinery.

Crews are working to recover the oil and clean up the beaches and waters of Lake Michigan. Coast Guard pollution responders from Marine Safety Unit Chicago were on scene Tuesday, March 25 to monitor the ongoing cleanup efforts with EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, according to the Coast Guard News.

Photo courtesy of Coast Guard News

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