Regarding the Michigan Oilpacolypse, WOOD-AM talk radio was giving some of the updates as I drove in this morning. Some of this may have changed since then... tough.
Enbridge says 840,000 gallons of crude spilled. EPA and Michigan suggesting in excess of a million gallons. One woman called in and said her son, working one of the vacuum trucks sucking the oil off the top of the water, was told that it was more like 4.4 million gallons -- only five times as much as the company is saying. Does anyone else think this sounds familiar?
Enbridge says they detected the leak Monday morning. They didn't call anyone about it until 1 pm.
Sunday afternoon there was a 9-1-1 call about a very strong oil smell. A fire truck arrived in the area where the actual leak occurred in Marshall MI, to find a Enbridge truck on site. The Enbridge person said it wasn't them, must be oil from some other oil processing facility.
Enbridge is still insisting that the leak was on Monday, not Sunday.
The radio people replayed part of a conversation with an Enbridge flack who said (a) the pipeline pressure is monitored 24/7, (b) that no one knew that a leak had occurred for some time, (c) that no one could explain why they were getting a low pressure reading on the pipeline and (d) now is the time to clean up, we'll figure out what happened later. Does anyone detect a contradiction / disconnect here?
There is a dispute as to whether there is enough boom, skimmers, vacuum trucks, etc. here or on the way. Also, some of the people helping to clean up the oiled birds are holding off on that waiting for respirators, because of the crude oil fumes.
A friend of mine teaching at an area community college reported that two of her students were sickened by the crude oil fumes from the leak.
The Enbridge board of directors will have met today. One of the board members in former Michigan governor Blanchard. Maybe that will help.
Ten days ago the DOT sent a letter to Enbridge detailing corrosion and metal loss in their pipelines. This particular pipeline was placed underground in 1969. Enbridge said they wanted to replace the pipeline, not repair it.
Enbridge alone has thousands of miles of crude oil pipelines in the Lakehead system, stretching around and through the Great Lakes and deep in the prairie states and provinces.
Enbridge wanted to restart the crude oil flow shortly after the leak. The congressman from Battle Creek objected. Strenuously.
Does anybody else find this all depressingly familiar?