EPA: Oil spill affected half-mile of Lake Michigan

Crews for oil giant BP worked Tuesday to clean up an undetermined amount of crude oil that spilled into Lake Michigan and affected about a half-mile section of shoreline near Chicago following a malfunction at BP's northwestern Indiana refinery, officials said.
AP Wire
Mar 26, 2014

The spill reported Monday afternoon by BP appears to have been contained by company crew members who deployed absorbent booms around the spill site, said Mike Beslow, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 5.

BP spokesman Scott Dean said the area affected by the spill was a cove along the Lake Michigan at the company's sprawling Whiting refinery, which covers about 1,400 acres.

The spill is about 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago but was not expected to pose any threat to municipal water supplies that draw on the lake's water, Beslow said.

A Coast Guard flyover of the area Tuesday did not reveal any oil outside the containment booms, Beslow said during a Tuesday afternoon media briefing, "but there is oil on the beach that is being addressed."

Beslow said BP crews were using vacuum trucks to suck up the corralled oil and were cleaning up oil along 2,700 feet of private shoreline the company owns at the Whiting site, he said.

The EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard were supervising that work, Beslow said.

Beslow said the Coast Guard was working with BP officials to determine how much oil had been discharged into the lake.

Dean, the BP spokesman, said northerly winds were helping contain the oil by pushing it toward the shoreline.

"It's in the lake, yes, but it's not moving around freely. It's been kind of contained because of the weather and of the geography of the lakefront there," Dean said.

BP said in a statement Tuesday evening that it believes that "an upset at a crude distillation unit may have sent crude oil into the refinery's cooling water outfall and then into the lake."

The company said it has taken steps to prevent another discharge and might have an estimate Wednesday on how much oil was spilled.

BP initially reported to the EPA that when its workers discovered the spill they observed an oily sheen that covered about 5,000 square yards, said Susan Hedman, the EPA's regional administrator.

Dan Goldblatt, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, said an agency official who was at the scene around 2 a.m. Tuesday had reported "a large sheen on the lake."

Hedman said the EPA is not aware of any previous oil spills at the site, but the agency is just beginning its assessment of this week's spill.

"EPA's lawyers will be looking into this matter and determining whether or not enforcement action is appropriate," she said.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who co-chairs the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, said in a statement that the incident "underscores the importance of vigilance in protecting our Great Lakes from oil spills."

"We are fortunate that the spill appears to have been quickly contained, but I will continue to monitor developments to ensure that the cleanup is rapid and complete," Levin said.

Comments

liveyourdream

This is sad. We need to do better to protect the GREAT LAKES. I hope I don't taste the oil next time I have a glass of water.

Wolverine49457

Oil floats so your water will not be contaminated besides it sounds like they contained it aready.

dyankee

No we don't. To do more is code word for the EPA to ban boats, jet skis, and humans from Lake Michigan. I love how the article tags the story of "oil giant BP" Typical liberal bias from the media...I'd like to see this toxic media spill cleaned up too.

Make BP pay to clean up every drop and restore any damage to beaches and find out how the hell this happened in the first place. Make the corrections and move on....not pile on.

Lanivan

"To do more is code word for the EPA to ban boats, jet skis, and humans from Lake Michigan". Would you please substantiate this allegation with facts?

"I love how the article tags the story of "oil giant BP" Typical liberal bias from the media...." Are you saying that BP is not an oil giant? In 2013, of the 10 biggest petroleum companies in the world, BP is in 6th place.

Did you know that the EPA was created about 40 years ago by Republican President Richard Nixon, with nearly unanimous support?

dyankee

What is your point, Lan? Did you know the greatest country God has ever given man was created by conservative thinking political geniuses? Did you know that slavery was ended by a Republican President? Did you know the first Hispanic Senator was a Republican?(Octavian Larrazolo R-NM 1928) Did you know the first native born President which is a direct violation of our Constitution was a Democrat?

Balls in your court...sorry for the worm burner, didn't mean to put a hole in your racket. :)

Lanivan

Nice volley, but it's no ace. You remarked with stereotypical right wing echo chamber talking points that when the EPA says one thing it means they will ban humans from Lake Michigan.

But I didn't know about Senator Larrazolo of NM - interesting! One of my favorite and most admired president was a Republican.....Teddy Roosevelt.

But there are Republicans, and then there are Republicans. I don't care for the latter.

dyankee

http://www.waronhumans.com/ The EPA is simply a tool for the radicals in charge....I'm more accurate than you think.

FDR eh? I thought it'd be Ford Lanivan. :)

99% of Democrats give the rest a bad name~

Lanivan

No, d. You're more radical and extreme than I think. The EPA is an institution that has saved life in America. Without EPA regulations, this country would be awash in pollution, toxins in our water, air, soil, with a terrible toll from a human health crisis and the systematic loss of all kinds of flora and fauna. EPA deniers are the epitome of spoiled people who enjoy their freedom from pollution in their everyday life but think it all comes automatically and naturally, and have no sense of history, what life was like back during the turn of the 20th century and beyond. Your link is sad. Such extreme opinions, with no actual historical perspective or balanced viewpoint. I don't exactly think you are inaccurate, but I do think you have been somehow indoctrinated into believing things that, in my opinion, you are way too smart and clever to believe so deeply.

It's Teddy Roosevelt that is my favored president. If you haven't already, you should read about him. A 'man's man' who was totally fascinating. Although, I do love Gerald Ford - a moderate, reasonable Republican, a gentleman, and a guy who resembled my own dad A LOT! ;-D

Being a Republican for,... well,...let's just say my whole adult life until recently, it's the current political swing to hard right, extreme positions that alarms me, and on which I am called to speak out.

AlexBell

"Oil floats so your water will not be contaminated"??? The Gulf of Mexico is still polluted with oil balls from the BP catastrophe. The EPA is making no effort to ban boats etc. from Lake Michigan. To say they are is just another ignorant conservative lie.

Wolverine49457

If you are right, (but you are not) why would you still possess things that make oil or gas to be needed in the first place, get rid of anything that uses electricity generated by fossil fuel (or fossil fuel) such as a Prius (coal fired car), lights, vehicles, power equipment, plastics, candles and medicines and many thousands of other products you are not going to give up but want everyone else to.
Given your deep concern motivates you dictate what everyone else should give up its only right you set the example by giving all you have to the poor and living with the animals in the forest….Yesiree get all of those evil petroleum based things out of your life, lower your carbon footprint and do your part to offset the rest of us; but that isn’t going to happen in any measure at all is it?

dyankee

Spot on Wolverine.

dyankee

Total BS Alex. The Gulf is NOT still polluted with oil balls. Do you know why the oil balled up so quickly after the spill in the first place? It's due to the salt water neutralizing the molecules of the oil in the beginning stages of dissolving it. No one said there is an effort to ban boats, its what can happen if there is a push for more EPA regulation of our Great Lakes.

As an example, whom would of ever fathomed for the first time in our Country's history that our Government would force it's citizens to buy a product that nobody wants in Obama Care? Your accusation of an "ignorant conservative lie" could not be more ironic.

Vladtheimp

Maybe EPA will just turn over Lake Michigan to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians who can populate it with solar and wind propelled gambling barges. http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/0...

Lanivan

Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Today, FDEP environmental specialist Joey Whibbs conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Perdido Key and Naval Air Station Pensacola areas.

Numerous Surface Residue Balls (SRBs or “tar balls”) were found throughout the area. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Today’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. A total of 329 tar balls were collected during today’s survey, amounting to nearly two pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil product removed from these sections of beach - by one person.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 37,000 tar balls and 1,942 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil have been documented and removed from Florida’s beaches alone (not including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas). On an average survey day, the FDEP team covers no more than 1,000 yards of beach, less than 1% of Florida’s shoreline that was impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Therefore, these numbers represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches." http://neworleans.legalexaminer....

Also, d, you should be happy to know that no one is being forced to buy anything in Obamacare. They can go uninsured, get sick and die, and leave the medical bills to their families to take care of if they so choose. They will pay a small penalty, but the government will not force them to be insured if they do not want to be. Also, by the same token, if they take a job that offers health insurance, they are not forced to accept it, and have the freedom to reject the offer.

Vladtheimp

Yup, no reason to question the word of any EPA official:

Richard Windsor never existed at the EPA, but the agency awarded the fictional staffer’s email account certificates proving he had mastered all of the agency’s technology training — including declaring him a “scholar of ethical behavior,” according to documents disclosed late last week.

Windsor.Richard@epa.gov was the controversial email alias used by former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, who resigned earlier this year amid questions about whether her agency was complying with open-records laws.

The new records — the latest in a series that EPA critics have pried loose under open-records requests — suggests [sic] Ms. Jackson used the alias even more widely than known, including taking required agency computer training under the fake identity.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/arc...

A former high-ranking EPA staffer convicted of stealing nearly $900,000 by pretending to be a CIA spy had virtually no experience, got his job with help from a college buddy, and went on to play a key role in sweeping environmental regulations, according to a report Senate Republicans released Wednesday.

Those regulations remain in place despite John C. Beale’s lack of environmental expertise, Republican investigators said, adding that they want the Environmental Protection Agency to review the work in which Beale was involved during his 24-year tenure. http://connect.freedomworks.org/...

Barry Soetoro

For the love of Pete how does "tar balls" get past the moderator?

skyking007

This is another wake up call to all of us. Wind and solar don't cause pollution. Every effort to get off the oil should be a priority. We must act before it is too late.

dyankee

June 18, 2013

"BP is wrapping up cleanup operations of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The move comes with permission from the US Coast Guard, which says BP no longer needs to send out regular patrols to clean the tar from the coastline.

BP, and the US government, have decided that beaches in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi are clean enough now compared to just after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and that BP no longer needs to send out regular patrols to clean the tar from the coastline

In the three years since the spill, BP has spent $14 billion on clean-up work according to The Huffington Post, and while it has stopped directly searching for oil slicks and tar balls to clean up in the three states mentioned above, it will continue to send out crews in Louisiana, who was more affected by the spill."

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environ...

The environ-mental-ist as usual will continue to insight fear into the general public by distorting the facts about tar balls and continue to hammer on the worn out mantra of big oil, big business, capital greed, hate America first diatribe.

The fact of the matter is, the Gulf is much improved and going in the right direction. NO ONE is stating it is back to 100%, but the original comment by A.B. that "The Gulf of Mexico is still polluted with oil balls from the BP catastrophe." is a distortion of the facts.

SK7, wind & solar don't create power either and leave nothing, but piles of feathers and bankruptcy statements in their wake. Every effort should be made to get off Middle Eastern oil and start drilling our own in this country full time, on land and reduce the need for deep water drilling. The very reason for the BP spill in the first place was due to this administration's mandate to drill in such deep water away from the US main land that the risk for the obvious was increased substantially.

Lanivan

"The very reason for the BP spill in the first place was due to this administration's mandate to drill in such deep water away from the US main land that the risk for the obvious was increased substantially".

The spill was caused by an explosion. The growth in deep water oil rigs has nothing at all to do with any mandates. The global fleet of ultra-deepwater oil rigs was increasing steadily until April 2010, when regulatory aftershocks from BP’s Macondo disaster slowed its overall growth rate. But now, two years after the Gulf spill, there are indications that drilling in the ultra-deep could be poised for a long-term surge.

One of the key indicators is rig demand. And a Barclays equity research report says oil companies are clamoring for rigs designed to operate in water depths of 7,500 feet or more – the generally accepted threshold for the ultra-deep space.reasing steadily until April 2010, when regulatory aftershocks from BP’s Macondo disaster slowed its overall growth rate. But now, two years after the Gulf spill, there are indications that drilling in the ultra-deep could be poised for a long-term surge.

http://breakingenergy.com/2012/0...

Real estate maven

Can anyone say keystone pipeline? But why create jobs here for Americans, for our loyal allies to the North and move toward true energy independence along the way? Because the ever farther reaching Socialist policies of BHO would rather see us riding around in rikshaws and staring at government-subsidized windmills than breaking away from the dependence on that cesspool known as the Middle East. Change you can count on!! LOL!! Jimmy Carter must be proud.

Lanivan

The latest State Department report, which also defines a “job” as a position filled for one year, estimates that the project would create 16,100 jobs directly related to Keystone XL. Another approximately 26,000 year-long jobs would be created indirectly (restaurant and store workers, for example, needed to accommodate the temporarily increased population along the pipeline). That brings the State Department’s total to 42,100 year-long jobs.

Included in that number, the report estimates that about 10,400 seasonal workers would be recruited for construction of the pipeline for jobs lasting four to eight months. If those short stints are calculated into an average annual jobs, that works out to 3,900 jobs over one year of construction, or 1,950 jobs each year for two years, the State Department wrote. After one to two years, the vast majority would leave, and 35 people would be permanently employed.

dyankee

Jimmy Carter is "relieved" that he is no longer the most enept President of our life time.

skyking007

I love to hear the Republican responses to issues. Every time they respond, they show that they do not care about people or the environment. Oil spilled in our GREAT LAKES and they take the side of the Oil companies. I am ashamed that for over fifty years I was a Republican. Wind and solar are the future but as always some people are stuck in the past.

dyankee

BP is cleaning up this spill and spending millions of dollars in doing so. What the hell else do you want them to do. No one wants oil spills, but when they happen oil compaines do a very good job in the clean up efforts.

BP has also spend 14 Billion(with a "B") to clean up their spill in the Gulf, yet when Occupy Wallstreet Protestors trash parks, defecate on police cars, and spew their garbage all over hell they dump 100% of the clean up on the taxpayer.

You should be ashamed that after fifty years you have nothing to offer young people other than pitting and dividing one political party against another.

Lanivan

Actually, young people are rejecting right wing extreme positions, and very soon US demographics will render the Republican Party completely ineffective and unelectable. The rejection of science and the science community, the hypocritical and ignorant positions on civil rights, religious intolerance, racism and bigotry, being slaves to the corporate estate, the denial of environmental and climate change science - I talk to young people all the time, and they are not influenced by anything except the actions, words, policies, and contradictions of and from the Republican party, Republican candidates, and conservative media. They see things very clearly, and do not embrace the prejudices, bigotries, and other non-progressive attitudes of the current party.

dyankee

Then why are these same young people not signing up for Obama Care?
Answer, because they are rejecting it along with the Democrat's premise. They are wising up over night to this fraudulent train wreck and are beginning to understand what 17 trillion in National debt means to their future.

This is why Democrats are hell bent on legalizing 11 million illegals in this country, because they are hedging on their votes. This is really what you're referring to with your US demographics, riiight?(wink-wink)

My biggest fear for this country Lan, is the unbelievable amount of voter fraud that is an out of control cancer shredding our Nation, especially in the inner city. The Democrats design it through groups like ACORN and the Republicans do nothing to stop it or even talk about it.

When you loose creditability with a country's voting process....you loose control of that country. If you are not worried, you should be.

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