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Oil Spill Leaves Sheen On Grand River In Lansing

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LANSING (AP) – An oil spill that left a sheen on the Grand River in Lansing is blamed on an equipment malfunction at a power plant, officials said.

Sunday night’s spill overflowed from a containment area at the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s Eckert Power Plant near downtown, the Lansing State Journal and MLive.com reported. The utility said “fewer than 300 gallons escaped into the river” before oil-absorbing materials were in place.

The total amount of the spill wasn’t immediately known. Oil-absorbing materials are expected to be in place for several days to collect the oil.

The Lansing Board of Water and Light said Monday it notified the Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which was looking into the matter Tuesday.

An EPA crisis manager is on the scene, the state said. The utility said it’s following standard cleanup procedures following the spill.

Word of the spill prompted a call from environmentalists for an investigation and thorough cleanup.

“We’re encouraging accountability from the Lansing Board of Water and Light, particularly on behalf of the Lansing residents who could be impacted by this spill,” Nic Clark, Michigan Director of Clean Water Action, said in a statement.

Oil spills into Michigan waterways have received increased attention since July 2010, when more than 800,000 gallons spewed into the Kalamazoo River and a tributary creek after the rupture of an underground pipeline near Marshall in southwestern Michigan.

Cleanup continues following that spill from Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline. In that case, oil flowed about 35 miles before it was contained.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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