Home > Environment > US-Canada pipeline leaks oil into Michigan river

US-Canada pipeline leaks oil into Michigan river


Map showing Kalamazoo River

A pipeline carrying oil from the US state of Indiana to Ontario, Canada has spilled more than 800,000 gallons (3m litres) of oil into a creek which flows into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.

A spokesman for the firm running the pipeline, Enbridge Energy Partners, said a malfunction had caused the leak.

The spill has killed fish and endangered wildlife in the region.

Officials said the pumps which feed the pipeline had been shut down as soon as the leak was discovered.

The 30-inch (76cm) pipeline carries 8m gallons of oil per day between the towns of Griffith, in Indiana, and Sarnia, in Ontario.

The pipeline, called the Lakehead System, is one of the largest in the world.

A pungent odour now hangs over the Kalamazoo River valley, local media report.

The oil originally spilled into the Talmadge Creek in Calhoun County, Michigan, north-west of the Kalamazoo River.

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Categories: Environment
  1. The Destructionist
    July 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    On Monday night (July 26) an oil pipeline – owned by Enbridge Energy Inc. – burst and spilled over 1,000,000+ gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River near Battle Creek, Michigan. Michiganders are scrambling to stop the flow from getting into Lake Michigan, but I fear their efforts are in vain.

    According to the latest local news reports, it seems that Enbridge was slow to react to the emergency, while under reporting the actual amount of oil that was leaked into the river. Since Monday, the situation has grown even worse. Birds and other animal wildlife, coated with oil, have been found. People living along the river have been warned to evacuate the area along the river way and not to drink their well water for fear of contamination.

    1,000,000+ gallons of oil may not sound like much to some, considering the amount of oil now floating just underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, but in such a confined area – like the Kalamazoo River – that amount is devastating. As the oil continues to flow west, it will soon reach Lake Michigan, affecting the drinking water of millions of people, killing all wildlife, and despoiling the true beauty of the great lake.

    I’m really starting to believe that corporations don’t give a damn about anything other than their profits. As I stated in one of my previous blog posts (Who Put Corporations in Charge?), “…what good is money, after all, if you don’t have air to breathe, water to drink, or food to eat without fear of contamination?”

    • August 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      A friend who was an expert with Exxon said that this is far, far worse than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Rivers are not open ocean. They do not have the same ability to disperse the oil. The wildlife is also much more devastated in a River. I have heard ONE news report about this. It is terrible what we are doing!

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