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By Seth Ilys via Wikimedia Commons

Michigan’s Grand River threatened by oil spill

, Shale Plays Media

Around 800 gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid were excavated from the storm water system in Jackson, Michigan since the spill on May 18th.

Jackson city officials in the fire department and department of public works were notified of the spill Sunday evening from a citizen calling to report an oil-like substance on the river’s veneer. Together with the help of the state Department of Environmental Quality, floating barriers (known as booms) were put in place to contain the spill later Sunday night. The EPA was called to the area May 21st to help supervise the cleanup process.

Officials are still unsure about how much of the fluid reached the river, but accounts of a greasy substance floating on the surface have been reported. Given that 800 gallons was pulled from the storm system, cleanup officials estimates hundreds of gallons possibly reached the river and more could potentially be found in the network of pipes and drains in the city’s storm water system.

Related: BP confirms oil spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery

No culprit is accused yet in the spill. Officials partaking in the cleanup are hoping to backtrack the storm water system to lead to a source. It is also undetermined if the spill was intentional or an accident. But given the amount recovered and potential amount still in the storm system, it is clear the spill is not from a residential source. According to Michigan’s M Live Media group, the city has estimated cost of the cleanup at around $20,000 and will seek reimbursement once an offender is found.

Tricia Edwards, a federal EPA agent in the area, commented it’s too early to tell what the long-term effects could be, if any, according to M Live Media Group.  The river is closed to the public at local parks and cleanup is expected to continue today. No date of re-opening has yet been released.

Michigan waterways have a recent history of  oil spill mishaps. Last year on March 31st, around 300 gallons of oil escaped into the Grand River due to an equipment malfunction at a power plant. In addition, nearly 900,000 gallons of heavy crude oil gushed into the Kalamazoo River after an Enbridge pipeline ruptured near Marshal Michigan on July 25th, 2010.

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