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August 09, 2010 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2010-08-09

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Monday, August 9, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


From Page 1
stage when the spill occurred, oil likely
deposited along the shoreline when
waterlevels returned to normal, affect-
ingwildlife in the area, Burton said.
Though a large amount of oil leaked
out of the pipeline, Burton said he does
not think the leak will affect Lake Mich-
igan, astheoilwilllikelybe deposited in
smaller lakes first. Some of the oil will
also be diluted as it goes downstream
due to the warmer water temperatures.
Burton added that he does not
believe any of the fishing industries
will see any long term effects, because
there are other unaffected tributar-
ies flowing into the Kalamazoo River.
Monitoring the area, however, will still
be necessary to determine the level of
toxicity, he said.
"I would like to think that in a peri-
od of months, any direct toxicity that
happened would be over with and we
would have new organisms moving
in that wouldn't be impacted," Bur-
ton said. "But if it's settling into the

sediments, that's goingto be where the
concern is because organisms in the
streams will continue to be exposed."
Peter Adriaens, a University envi-
ronmental engineering professor who
has worked on the Exxon Valdez and
Gulf War oil spills, said because the
pipeline is around 30 years old, he
believes the leak was due to corrosion
of the steel.
Adriaens said though there are sen-
sors along the length of the pipe to
measure changes in pressure, which
would indicate a leak, temperature
fluctuations and the differences in
pressure that arise at pumpingstations
routinely make it difficult for inspec-
tors to identify a problem. Inspectors
must also be able to hear a signal above
the noise of the oil being pumped at the
stations, Adriaens said.
With the Kalamazoo River oil spill,
Adriaens said inspectors probably did
see a pressure drop butwere not able to
immediately discern its cause.
But because the spill occurred
around a populated area, local resi-
dents reported the smell of oil and
officials were able to address the leak

within three days of its occurrence,
Adriaens said.
Adriaens said after locating the site
of the leak, officials tried to limit the
extent of contamination by skimming
oil off of the surface water and laying
down booms - floating containment
units used to enclose the oil. He added
that the last step - determining how
much oil is in the sediments - will
take longer and could have a long-term
effect on the region, proportional to
the amount of residual oil.
Though this oil spill is the worst in
the history of the Midwest, Adriaens
said monitoring has increased over the
past decade, and the number ofleaks per
1,000 miles of pipeline has decreased by
almost 60 percent with the amount of
oil per leak also on the decline.
As the lasting effects on area wild-
life are examined, the people whose
homes have been affected by the spill
are also assessing their possible com-
The affected area includes a mobile
home park and 61 homes, which are in
avoluntary evacuation zone, according
to the Detroit Free Press.



A worker monitors water in Talmadge Creek near the Kalamazoo River.

David Uhlmann, director of the
Environmental Law and Policy Pro-
gram at the Law School, said Enbridge
Energy Partners will compensate
homeowners for their losses, but there
still may be the possibility of lawsuits
if homeowners believe the damage is
too great.
Uhlmann also said he is concerned
about the company's response to the
spill, as there have been reports that
Enbridge Energy Partners may have
delayed providing notice to the appro-

priate authorities, and it is unclear
whether the response efforts were suf-
ficient in limiting the magnitude of the
Both actions could result in at least
civil penalties, if not civil prosecution,
Uhlmann said.
According to the Detroit Free Press,
the U.S. House Committee on Trans-
portation and infrastructure will hold
a hearing on Sep. 15 in Washington
D.C. to analyze the oil spill and the
company's response.

Snyder, Bernero win Mich. gubernatorial primary elections

Party candidates look
to replace outgoing
Dem. Gov. Granholm
Republican gubernatorial candidate
Rick Snyder and Democratic candidate
Virgil Bernero won Tuesday's primary

election and will look to succeed out-
going Democratic Gov. Jennifer Gran-
holm in the general election on Nov. 2.
Seven men in
total contested First seen on
the election,
consisting of
five Republicans
- Mike Bouchard, Mike Cox, Tom
George, Pete Hoekstra and Snyder -
and Democratic candidates Bernero
and Andy Dillon.
With votes counted from the 143

precincts of Washtenaw County,
Snyder led the Republican field with
12,824 votes over nearest competitor
Pete Hoekstra at 5,117 votes, according
to the county clerk's office. Dillon, who
conceded the race to Bernero, trailed
with 9,249 votes to Bernero's 17,741
"For people that believe our govern-
ment works well and that the political
system works well, they should vote
for the other candidate," Snyder said
before his supporters, according to

the Associated Press. "For people who
believe our government is broken, our
political system is broken, it's time
for catalysts. I want to represent you,
someone from the real world."
Bernero addressed his supporters at
a Detroit hotel, saying "the Michigan
we grew up in, the Michigan that was
at the top, is the Michigan that we're
ready to fight for today."
D For the rest of this story, see
R MichiganDaily.com/blogs

For more information, please contact
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at dailydisplay@gmail.com

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