NEW INFORMATION: Oil Spill Will Affect Enviroment

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- As much as 500 gallons of oil has spilled into the Grand River according to the State Department of Environmental Quality.

The turbine oil spilled Sunday night from the Lansing Board of Water and Light's Eckert power plant. Environmental experts tell us animals and plants will be affected.

Three booms have now been set out on grand river, in hopes of soaking up most of the spilled oil, but experts say they may not catch all of it.

"It's entirely possible some might have gotten past the booms. That's why we put three out," said D.E.Q. Brad Wurfel.

The state says fish and wildlife will be affected by the spill, but that it's too soon to tell how bad it's going to be. Wurfel did say that Lansing's drinking water will be safe.

"This is a sheen, very light oil. It's not crude oil that will coat wildlife all over. But hydraulic fluid should not be in the Grand River," said Wurfel.

The spill is only a small portion of what could have gone into the river.

"There was a lot more material lost out of their process, but this is what got into the river," said Wurfel.

Bwl has been following standard clean up procedure but some say it's not enough.

"You look at oil. It's a toxic substance and harmful to humans and wildlife. It's tough to put a quantity on how much oil is allowable in a river," said Michigan Clean Water Action Association Nic Clark.

Playing along side the river with her three sons, one mother has some big concerns.

"I'm concerned about the local playgrounds how clean it's going to be on the river trail. How safe is it going to be for the kids to come and play?," said Brie McThall.

The DEQ says no one should fish, play, or go in the water for at least a few weeks until most of the clean up is finished. The river booms will remain in place for several weeks and will be properly disposed of once they have collected the oil.

DEQ confirmed it will fine BWL for the spill although how much has yet to be determined.


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