$29.1 million tab from Michigan oil spill

Aug. 12, 2011 at 6:50 AM   |   0 comments

CHICAGO, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it spent more than $20 million in cleanup operations from an Enbridge oil spill last year in Michigan.

More than a year after an oil spill near Marshall, Mich., the EPA said it was still working on remediation efforts in Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River. The EPA said its response prevented the spill from reaching Lake Michigan.

"The EPA has incurred $29.1 million in cleanup costs, which Enbridge will be required to reimburse," the agency said in a statement.

Line 6B of the Lakehead oil pipeline ruptured last July near Marshall, Mich. The EPA said it estimated more than 23,000 barrels of heavy oil from Alberta tar sands spilled from the pipeline.

The nature of oil from tar sand deposits causes some of it to sink to the bottom of the river, where it has soaked about 6 inches of sediment along the river bottom.

The EPA recovered about 18,000 barrels of oil that was on the surface. EPA officials said it was unclear how the remaining oil would affect the environment because there is no other spill with which to compare the Enbridge leak.

The EPA said it would provide further updates on the spill Wednesday in Marshall.

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