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Clean up costs for Shiawassee County oil spill could reach $300,000

Dec 10, 2015

Oil in a Shiawassee County drain.
Credit EPA

More than 500 gallons of of used motor oil spilled into a county drain in Shiawasee County, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's on-scene coordinator Tricia Edwards.

The EPA is heading the cleanup process.

A hunter discovered the spill on November 26.

Edwards said the cost of clean up will be paid from the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Reimbursement is sought from a responsible party, if one is identified.

"We believe that we've contained this spill more than two miles away from the Shiawassee River," said Edwards. "So we don't believe the Shiawassee River will be impacted."

Edwards said no long term environmental damage is expected from this spill.

Nearly two-and-a-half miles of surface water in the drainage ditch was affected by the spill. Edwards says the cleanup should be complete next week.

"Because we responded so early to this oil spill, we didn't give it a chance to sit there and get soaked in," said Edwards.

Edwards said the cleanup process has involved containing the spill, using oil-soaking booms to remove the oil, and removing vegetation, such as dead leaves, fallen branches and grasses, to which oil attaches.

Edwards said very little soil needed to be removed from the spill zone.

The cause of the spill is still under investigation. The oil has been traced to a nearby farm.