More than 800,000 gallons of oil have been released into a creek in Marshall that feeds the Kalamazoo River.
Houston-based Enbridge Energy Partners said Monday that oil flowed into the Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River after a leak developed in its pipeline.
Enbridge said the 30-inch pipeline transfers about 8 million gallons of crude oil a day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario. The leak originated from the Enbridge site, 16000 Division Drive, near the border of Marshall and Fredonia townships in central Calhoun County, according to a report Battle Creek Enquirer’s website.The pipeline crosses the Talmadge Creek about one-and-a-half miles southeast of the Kalamazoo River.
After Enbridge learned of the spill, the pipeline was shut down and isolation valves were closed, stopping the flow of oil. Enbridge crews were on scene Monday with oil skimmers and booms on the creek and river, a press release from the company said.
Enbridge Liquids Pipelines general manager Tom Fridel said the leak was caused by a pipeline malfunction, but the cause is still being investigated, according to the Enquirer.
Enbridge and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management worked on the clean up into Monday night. No one was injured in the spill.
Upstream, the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety issued an advisory against swimming or fishing in the Kalamazoo River because of the spill.
The Kalamazoo River flows west through the city of Kalamazoo, and then north and west through Allegan County. It flows into Lake Michigan at Saugatuck.
By late afternoon, the Enquirer reported that a thick layer of oil was visible at the juncture of the creek and the Kalamazoo River, in Marshall Township. Many small fish also washed up on the river’s banks.
The exact time of the spill has not yet been determined, but the Enquirer quoted a Battle Creek resident who said he smelled oil at around 9 p.m. Sunday.
The Michigan Department of Natural Recourses and Environment is working on a clean up plan to address contamination, spokeswoman Mary Dettloff said.
While a barrier was put into place to stop the flow of oil, the amount of oil that got into the Kalamazoo River has yet to be determined. Dettloff said residents along river will likely see some crude oil come onshore.
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