MI River Closed after Oil Spill

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 @ 11:05 AM gHale

About 800 gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid ended up pulled out of the Grand River in Jackson, MI, since Sunday, May 18.

Federal, state and local officials expect to pull more oil from the river in the coming days. And the parts of the Grand River remain closed to recreational use.

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Don Tucker, Jackson’s wastewater treatment superintendent, said the city’s fire and department of public works learned of the spill about 7 p.m. May 18. They and the state Department of Environmental Quality put up booms to contain the spill.

The following Monday, about 400 gallons of fluid ended up pulled from the river, and another 400 gallons removed on Tuesday, Tucker said. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went to the scene Wednesday.

Tucker said it’s unknown how much more oil could be in the river or where it came from.

“With that amount (of oil) it’s not coming from residential,” he said.

The city and DEQ are checking the local stormwater system to see where the oil may have entered the drain and the DEQ is testing the oil, Tucker said. The city hired Kalamazoo-based Terra Contracting to cleanup the oil.

Tricia Edwards, a federal on-scene coordinator with the EPA, said she does not think there will be any long-term effects to the Grand River from the spill, but the organization will continue to monitor it.

“We have not seen any oiled wildlife,” she said.

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