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Kalamazoo River Oil Spill (PHOTOS): Cleanup Efforts Underway In Michigan

First Posted: 07/28/10 06:16 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:10 PM ET

The Kalamazoo River oil spill has resulted in more than 800,000 gallons of spilled oil in southern Michigan since Monday.

It is already one of the worst oil spill disasters in the history of the Midwest U.S., and led to county officials declaring a state of emergency. Birds and fish have been coated by oil as a result of the spill, which began in a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo.

Cleanup efforts are ongoing to contain the spill. More from the AP:

Authorities in Battle Creek and Emmett Township warned residents about the strong odor from the oil, which leaked Monday from a 30-inch pipeline built in 1969 that carries about 8 million gallons of oil per day from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia, Ontario.

Crews waded in oily water as they worked to stop the oil's advance downstream. Oil-covered Canada geese walked along the banks of the Kalamazoo River, and photos showed dead fish floating in the spill. The Kalamazoo River eventually flows into Lake Michigan, but officials didn't expect the oil to reach the lake.

"This is just a disaster," said Raymond Woodman, 33, of Emmett Township, who watched workers use a vacuum truck to suck oil from the water at the Ceresco Dam, downstream from leak. "It shouldn't matter how much it costs to clean this up. They need to clean it up."

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Inc.'s affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners LP of Houston estimated about 819,000 gallons of oil spilled into Talmadge Creek before the company stopped the flow. Enbridge crews and contractors deployed oil skimmers and absorbent booms to minimize its environmental impact.

Michigan River Oil Spill
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John Corcoran, center, and Cam Meyers, right, watch from the 15 Mile Road bridge as oil flows in the Kalamazoo River Tuesday, July 27, 2010, in Marshall, Mich. Crews were working Tuesday to contain and clean up more than 800,000 gallons of oil that poured into a creek and flowed into the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan, coating birds and fish. An estimated 877,000 gallons (3.3 million liters) of oil leaked from a pipeline into the river. (AP Photo/The Kalamazoo Gazette, Jonathon Gruenke)
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Filed by Craig Kanalley  |