Kalamazoo River cleanup suspended as cold weather hits Michigan

Energy Environment

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Submerged oil cleanup finished in Kalamazoo River for the year
The newspaper quotes Jason Manshum, spokesman for Enbridge Energy Partners, as saying that the majority of submerged oil has been collected and crews are shifting to start winter cleanup. During the winter, the crews “will continue to address oil on the over banks of the river.”

Manshum added that because of dropping temperatures, the methods to extract submerged oil are not as effective

“However, there are still some remnants of submerged oil in the Kalamazoo River,” Manshum said. “The exact quantity is difficult to measure, but we are currently trying to calculate the remaining amount based on core samples from the river bottom. These core samples have been collected and are now being tested analytically to better understand the remnant amounts.”

The Gazette says that because the heavy biutmen sank to the bottom of the river and mixed with sediment, the crews had to innovate new methods to extract it.

This spring, the EPA identified about 200 acres of submerged oil in three areas: the Ceresco Dam; in Mill Pond, just east of Battle Creek; and where the Kalamazoo River enters Morrow Lake in Comstock Township. Manshum said that number is a snapshot of submerged oil at the time. Since the river is dynamic, the oil moved with the water at the bottom of the river.

Crews have removed oil from some areas of the river multiple times because of the movement, Manshum said. Enbridge and the EPA will continue to assess and clean the river until it is clean.