Assessment teams from the Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and BP on Friday have determined that no further cleanup actions are needed for oil that was discharged into Lake Michigan at the BP Whiting Refinery two weeks ago.
According to a Coast Guard press release, an inspection of the shoreline on the southeast wall of the cove near the refinery showed that the small areas of the oiled pebbles had all been removed by cleanup crews.
In addition, underwater surveys that included probing three dozen different locations on the bottom of Lake Michigan near the discharge area did not turn up any indication of oil.
The release says because no sheen from the oil was seen on the water for several days, part of the oil boom has been removed. However, one boom section remains to confirm that no oil is in the refinery's cooling system.
The Coast Guard was first notified of, and responded to, the oil discharge March 24th and has continues to oversee the response. Captain Matt Sibley, captain of the port and federal on-scene coordinator for the response says, "I want to assure everyone, particularly the general public, that the Coast Guard will continue to work very closely with BP and all agencies involved during these final stages."
In addition to the Coast guard and EPA, other agencies involved during various stages of the response include: the Indiana Department of Environmental Management; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which conducted trajectory analysis in the water following the discharge; and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which helped to evaluate potential impacts to wildlife and their habitat.
For information about the Coast guard response efforts, contact Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf at 216-389-0420.
For information about EPA's response, contact Francisco Arcaute, public affairs officer, at 312-886-7613
For information relating to the discharge and recovery operations, contact the BP's Media Affairs office at 281-366-4463.