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Oil spill leaves sheen on Grand River in Lansing

2:06 PM, Apr 2, 2013   |    comments
BWL has deployed two separate pieces of boom that spanned the river near Cherry Hill and Adado Riverfront Parks. Each boom has special fabric to absorb any oil that reaches it. Greg Deruiter | Lansing State Journal
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Crews are working to contain about 300 to 500 gallons of hydraulic fluid that spilled into the Grand River in Lansing.

State Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Brad Wurfel said Tuesday that Lansing's Board of Water and Light has installed three booms across the river to contain the spill.

Wurfel says the booms are inflated buoys with pads to absorb the fluid, which has left a sheen on the river's surface.

The spill started Sunday night, and authorities blame it on a gasket failure at the utility's Eckert Power Plant near downtown.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency crisis manager is on the scene. The utility says it's following standard cleanup procedures following the spill.

Wurfel says it's too soon to assess the spill's effects on the environment.

LANSING (Lansing State Journal) - An equipment malfunction at the Lansing Board of Water and Light's Eckert Power Plant caused an oil spill into the Grand River late Sunday.

BWL officials said in a statement today that the incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. when the malfunction caused turbine oil to spill and overflow a containment area, causing the oil to reach a portion of the plant adjacent to the river near downtown Lansing.
BWL workers tried to contain the spill, but "fewer than 300 gallons escaped into the river before all the oil-absorbing materials were in place," the statement said.

To contain the oil in the river, BWL has deployed two separate pieces of boom that span the river near Cherry Hill and Adado Riverfront Parks. Each boom has special fabric to absorb any oil that reaches it.

The materials are expected to be in place for several days to collect the oil.

BWL said it has notified the Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality of the incident and it is following standard cleanup procedures under the inspection of MDEQ.

By Kristen M. Daum

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