Dear GreenSpot-On Readers,
I wanted to talk to you about something very important. As some of you in Michigan or even in the nation may have heard, on late Sunday, July 25, 2010 a pipeline malfunctioned (which is being investigated by the EPA and the National Transportation Safety Board) near the border of Marshall and Fredonia townships in Calhoun County, Michigan. The oil then leaked into Talmadge Creek, which flows northwest into the Kalamazoo River.
According to the Battle Creek Enquirer: "After the oil leak was detected, the pipeline pumps were shut down and the valves upstream and downstream from the leak were closed, according to a press release from Houston-based Enbridge and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management."
The spill has already went past booms set up by workers in Marshall township and is now flowing into the Kalamazoo River in Kalamazoo County. So far it is estimated that about 877,000 gallons (Or according to other news reports around 20,000 barrels) of oil had spilled into the creek leading to the Kalamazoo River according to estimates from Enbridge Energy Partners. A meterologist speaking with the news agency WZZM 13 from the National Weather Service has also said that the spill could reach Lake Michigan by Sunday, depending on a few variables having to do with the flow rate.
There have been warnings and advisories set against swimming and fishing in the area and there is a worry about Benzine being in the air. There are also families that have been evacuated (Last I heard it was at least 20 homes) due to the potential health hazard. According to other sources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) have told hopeful volunteers to stay away from the area as they are trying to get respirators for workers near the spill. As for wildlife rescues I had heard from another source that the DNR are looking into having trained and licensed wildlife rescuers help with the wildlife and that it is too dangerous for an untrained and unlicensed person to handle distressed wildlife. There have alrady been injuries to reported at Wood TV8 in West Michigan by these distressed animals to humans who had hoped to do some good. Please let the trained professionals and licensed wildlife rescuers do the work, if you want to help ask the Michigan DNRE what you can do. To sign up with wildlife officials or to report oil-covered wildlife, call 800-306-6837.
I promise that as soon as I find a reputable place that is taking donations I will let you know. Already, I have talked with a couple licensed rescuers (Including GreenSpot-On's very own JRouse) who are possibly going to be allowed to volunteer for clean-up, so if I hear any news on how people can assist them or the effort I will let you all know! Though I did find this today:
"BATTLE CREEK (The Enquirer) -- The Circle D Wildlife Refuge has rescued 12 geese, a muskrat and a swan from the Kalamazoo River, said refuge spokeswoman Pam Decuypere. The Vicksburg group is working to help capture and clean wildlife hurt by the oil spill, she said. The refuge is looking for volunteers today to help clean the birds, monetary donations, and donations of buckets, vegetable oil, dish soap and rags, Decuypere said. If you want to help, show up at 13500 East U Ave. in Vicksburg, or call Decuypere at (269) 365-5349"
Meanwhile I am looking for a couple of photo's to post of this disaster in my home state to show you before and after photo's and what it is doing to the environment and the wildlife. If anyone from this area has new photo's and will give permission to post them please contact me!
Please see the links and video below for more information and the sources for my information.
MI DNRE Website: Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment
Huffington Post: Michigan Oil spill among the Largest in Midwest History: Kalamazoo Spill Soaks Wildlife
The latest story from the Battle Creek Enquirer: Granholm criticizes company as oil heads west
Battle Creek Enquirer story: Eager Volunteers told to Wait
The Battle Creek Enquirer has posted a Map showing the spill.
WZZM 13: Oil Spill could reach Lake Michigan by Sunday
Wood TV8 Latest story: Oil Spill Spreading toward Battle Creek
Wood TV 8 video: DNRE: Leave animal cleaning to pros
Thanks for thinking of the families, wildlife, environment and our state as we deal with this disaster.
Khrysania @ GreenSpot-On