Grand River oil spill won't hit our shores

Nearly 800 gallons of motor oil and hydraulic fluid has been cleaned from the Grand River in the past week.
Alex Doty
May 24, 2014

The fluid spilled into the river near Jackson, and that city's wastewater treatment officials were alerted to it at 7 p.m. Sunday. Crews from the city and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality placed booms in the water to contain the spill.

“There shouldn’t be any long-term impact on the river system,” said Tricia Edwards, who served as the on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Edwards said there doesn’t appear to be any effects from the spill on the wildlife living in and along the river.

Jackson wastewater plant Superintendent Don Tucker said the volume and source of the oil spill aren’t yet known.

"With that amount, it's not coming from residential," he noted.

Edwards said crews have deployed buoys on multiple sections throughout a two-mile area of the river.

“A majority of it was contained right at the source,” she said. “… But we’ve had sheen sightings a mile and a half away.”

A stretch of the river was closed as a precaution.

While Grand Haven will likely be spared any problems from the spill, the incident is still raising local eyebrows.

“I believe any item that is not natural on and in our water is a ‘resource out of place,’” said Ken Larson, who lives along the river in Grand Haven Township. “Many would refer to it as pollution.”

To read the whole story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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