July 29th 2010 6:51 am
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Here is one of the latest sad to read updates from our local TV station.This 'event' is now a nationally known affair, and Growlmy even saw it in some newspapers from Canada.
Growlmy also found out that the broken pipeline was built in 1969. That is 41 years ago, didn't anyone think to do inspections...duh!
And the now involved EPA says that probably more than 1 million gallons spilled, not the company's stated 840,000. This makes all of us so angry. Apparently there was also a 4 hour delay from when this company found out about the spill, to when they reported it to the feds, 4 hours of unchecked spilling, and that much more tragedy of animal life and environmental damage.
Anyways, here is the report:
EPA takes over clean-up efforts
It's been nearly three days now since oil started pouring into the Kalamazoo River and crews are still working around the clock to try and keep it from moving downstream.
That spill started in the Marshall area and officials say it's moved 25 miles down the river so far.
The oil came from an Enbridge Energy pipeline.
Wednesday night the agency that keeps tabs on pipelines and hazardous material movement in the U.S. stepped in with a corrective action order.
It says Enbridge can not re-open that section of pipeline until it completes a comprehensive safety check.
Governor Granholm declared a state of emergency for Calhoun County on Tuesday and she says the containment efforts are still falling short. The governor says we need more skimmers, more vacuum trucks and that this disaster has the potential to be a tragedy of historic proportions.
Now the government's taken the lead on the containment efforts. Wednesday the EPA took over the clean up efforts in the Kalamazoo River.
As of Wednesday night the EPA said a light sheen was approaching the lake at Marrow Dam and they were working to stop it. We do have some reports that that sheen did make it to Morrow Lake which has been a big concern.
Now while the EPA is over-seeing the efforts Enbridge is still responsible for the clean up.
EPA officials tell us one-third of the 25 miles of river that are affected by the oil is seeing a bank to bank sheen of oil and it thins out the closer you get to Morrow Lake. There is a small amount of sheen there.
In addition to over-seeing the clean up the EPA is also working with the Calhoun County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Community Health to monitor the benzene levels in the air.
They say there are never enough resources when it comes to a spill this big.
"The more resources we can bring to this spill the better off we'll be in the long run in terms of protecting downstream interests. So resources are continuing to increase," said Mark Durno, the EPA Deputy Incident Commander.
There are now 17 containment areas. Thursday the EPA hopes to have 22 of them in place.
Crews plan to add some booms beyond Morrow Lake as another line of defense.
For many people living along the Kalamazoo River this spill has been a nightmare. The fumes are making them sick and giving them severe headaches.
The EPA is keeping an eye on the benzene levels in the air. It says while those levels are elevated they don't pose a significant health threat at this point.
We spoke with some folks who live right by where the pipe leaked near Marshall.
One woman told us she's concerned about the effects those intense fumes could have on her grand kids.
“They were only here a 1/2 hour today and they were already getting sick to their stomach,” said Debbie Grove. “When you're in the house, the fumes are in the house worse than outside."
Some people have left their homes to stay in hotels after Enbridge said it would foot the bill. Others say they don't have the money to cover the cost up-front.
The Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter in Marshall for anyone who needs help. Volunteers are offering free meals and a place to stay for anyone displaced by the disaster. It's at the Marshall Activity Center off West Michigan Avenue.
Enbridge Energy has also set up a toll-free hotline for anyone with concerns. The number is 1-800-306-6837.
Operators should be able to help you with everything from questions about property to wildlife issues.
So that is that.
The days are less humid lately, and this morning at our den, we can't smell any oil. So growlmy opened the windows. The kitties sure liked that!
This morning on my stroll, I saw some Sandhill Cranes, strutting around in the nearby school yard. Such huge beautifur birds. Growlmy tried to take a pic, but they spooked and flew away, making their raucous noisy calls and cacklings.
Have a nice day.Woofs!
I r sowwy dis r habbenin' neer yu, Fweckles.. It r BERY fwustwatin' an' makeses all ob us bery angwy!
It r wess humid here dis day, tu. We r goin' on a woad twip tu Towonto, so I will bark at Murphy as I pass Milton on da 401!!
She heard it from you first but yesterday
when mom was driving somewhere, she heard
a report about it on the radio.
It sure is a sad situation.
That stinks! It's so sad what the oil spills do to animals - seeing pictures of the birds covered with oil always makes momma sad. And it makes me think - what a perfectly good waste of a potentially yummy meal! So we both get sad.
I saw this on the news today and thought of you, and how it must be for you and the nearby wildlife. I hope they do something about it soon!