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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oil Disaster in Michigan

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


Royal Ranch said...

Oh Lord, this is the first I have heard of this. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all right now. Although I am states away, please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do! You know how to find me.

Vasagi said...

Absolutely sickening ... and it brings the Gulf of Mexico much closer to home. Hopefully being so close to home, it will spur us into trying for more clean energy sources.

Khrys said...

Thanks Royal Ranch, we'll definately let you know as we will be adding information on donations and so forth as we go! JRouse is currently in contact with several people about helping the wildlife there. We are asking everyone that can to donate to places like Circle D Wildlife Refuge which has already taken in several animals in distress from the oil spill.

I agree Vasagi, it does bring things much closer to home for those of us in Michigan. So far from talking to JRouse, it seems like a hurry up and wait for the government to let volunteers in, or at least to a staging area. People can help now though by helping places like Circle D Wildlife Refuge as they are in great need of donations! I will give out contact information for volunteers or donations asap. I know I will take donations too if anyone you know has rags, dish soap, rubber aprons, rubber gloves, vegetable oil, buckets and monetary donations. They are also looking for volunteers!

Circle D Wildlife said...

Thanks for the coverage. Add your name to the volunteer survey to be included in daily updates from within the Circle.