Kalamazoo River affected by oil spill now safe for boating

2:52 PM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
Airboats and booms on the Kalamazoo River between Battle Creek and Historic Bridge Park in September 2011. (Courtesy: John Grap/Batte Creek Enquirer)
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MARSHALL, Mich. (WZZM)-The Michigan Department of Community Health is giving boaters the all-clear to enjoy a stretch of the Kalamazoo River contaminated during an oil spill in July 2010.

After testing the surface water for chemicals, state workers determined swimmers and boaters who come in contact with the river shouldn't experience any long-term health problems. However, health officials say people who come in contact with oil sheen and globules still in the river may experience temporary issues, such as skin irritation.

The Michigan Department of Community Health also tested fish from the Kalamazoo River and Morrow Lake. Workers found fish impacted by the oil spill had similar levels of oil-related chemicals as fish caught upstream of the spill site. Health officials say all oil-related chemicals were very low and Mercury and PCB levels were similar to what researchers found in the fish before the spill.

For state guidelines about eating fish caught in Michigan waters, visit the state website here.

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