The oil spill in the Kalamazoo River looks worse than originally thought. It now covers more than 25 miles of the Kalamazoo River, according to the latest information from the Environmental Protection Agency.
On Thursday, Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm declared a state of disaster in Calhoun County and potentially affected areas along the Kalamazoo River downstream of Talmadge Creek in response to Monday’s oil spill from a pipeline near Marshall, Michigan.
“This disaster declaration reinforces our efforts to ensure the safety of Michigan citizens and the environment by making any needed state resources readily available,” said Granholm.
The leak in an oil pipeline left birds and fish covered in oil, but officials insist the spill, which has dumped more than 800,000 gallons of oil into the river, shouldn’t reach Lake Michigan. They originally believed a dam at Morrow Lake, upstream of Kalamazoo, will hold the oil back.
But late Wednesday, it appeared oil was spilling over the damn. Here is Michigan Radio’s report.
Granholm, who toured the site on Wednesday, said she’s displeased with the pace of the clean up. The governor has created a Web page for oil spill updates: www.michigan.gov/oilspill
After weeks of headlines about the oil spill in the Gulf, regional residents can’t help but wonder what the extent of this spill might be. The Great Lakes are a key focus of the Changing Gears project and we’ll be staying on top of this story. Are you concerned about the Kalamazoo oil spill? What do you think should be done?