Emergency declared in Michigan oil spill

July 28, 2010 at 10:36 AM
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MARSHALL, Mich., July 28 (UPI) -- Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm declared a state of emergency in southern Michigan as crews battle what is believed to be the largest spill in state history.

Michigan officials estimate as much as 20,000 barrels of oil spilled into waters in southern Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties following the rupture of one of the largest oil pipelines in the world.

Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Energy Partners confirmed that a pipeline on its Lakehead system leaked near a pump station in Marshall, Mich.

Enbridge workers were inspecting parts of the pipeline during the leak. The company said it was dispatching containment boom and skimmers to the area to control the spill.

"Crews worked through the night on containment, including the use of booms, oil skimmers and vacuum trucks," the company said in its latest statement.

Granholm said teams from four state agencies were on site to help address the fallout from the spill.

"Our focus is protecting Michigan citizens and our environment by providing any needed state resources to expediently address the situation," she said in a statement.

Emergency officials in Kalamazoo said they were warning area residents to avoid coming into contact with waters in the Kalamazoo River.

State officials said they don't expect the spill to reach Lake Michigan.

Enbridge said it would remove the damaged section of the pipeline to investigate the cause of the accident.

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