EPA: Oil spill affected half-mile of Lake Michigan

A malfunction at BP's Whiting refinery sent oil into Lake Michigan Tuesday.
A malfunction at BP's Whiting refinery sent oil into Lake Michigan Tuesday.

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — Crews for oil giant BP are working to clean up an undetermined amount of crude oil that spilled into Lake Michigan and affected a half-mile-long section of northwestern Indiana shoreline.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the spill reported Monday afternoon at BP’s Whiting, Ind., refinery appears to have been contained.

EPA regional on-scene coordinator Mike Beslow said Tuesday afternoon that BP crews have surrounded the oil with absorbent booms and are using vacuum trucks to suck up the corralled oil.

He says BP crews are also cleaning up oil along about 2,700 feet of private shoreline at the Whiting complex some 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago.

Beslow says the Coast Guard is working with BP to determine how much crude an oil processing malfunction discharged into the lake.

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