BP’s Refinery Is Behind the Oil Sludge on Lake Michigan

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

BP plc (NYSE:BP) has confirmed that a malfunction at an oil refinery in Whiting, Michigan forced an as-yet-unknown amount of crude oil into Lake Michigan, according to the Chicago Tribune and another local source.

“We did have a processing disruption last night at the Whiting refinery,” BP spokesperson Scott Dean said Tuesday. “Some oil found its way into the cooling water system. It wasn’t long lasting,” he added. The incident was discovered around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dean said. There were no injuries as a result of the spill, the BP representative added.

Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Phillippa Cannon said that authorities are unsure of just how much oil spilled into the lake, and how long the discharge occurred for. “We don’t have an estimated volume yet,” she said, per NWI. Officials at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said that the leak was plugged by 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. Currently, emergency response crews from both the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard are on site.

BP has laid booms on the site to prevent the oil from moving out of the initial spill zone, a small cove near the refinery’s wastewater treatment plant and an Arcelor steel mill.

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