Tag Archive for 'lake michigan'

BP confirms oil spill into Lake Michigan from Whiting refinery

Photo retrieved from: www.nbcchicago.com

“It remains unclear how much oil spilled into the lake or how long the discharge continued. Workers at the refinery reported an oil sheen on the water about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the leak was plugged by the time he arrived at 9 p.m.

Mike Beslow, the EPA’s emergency response coordinator, said there appeared to be no negative effects on Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water for 7 million people in Chicago and the suburbs. The 68th Street water intake crib is about eight miles northwest of the spill site, but there were no signs of oil drifting in that direction.

Initial reports suggest that strong winds pushed most of the oil toward a sandy cove on BP’s property between the refinery and an Arcelor Mittal steel mill. A flyover Tuesday afternoon revealed no visible oil beyond booms laid on the water to prevent the oil from spreading, Beslow said.

“There is no known impact to wildlife or human health at this time,” Beslow said.

Frigid temperatures caused some of the oil to harden into a waxy consistency that made it easier to collect, said Scott Dean, a BP spokesman. Crews used vacuum trucks to suck up any liquid oil that washed ashore.”

Read more: Chicago Tribune



Record Low Water Levels in Lake Huron, Lake Michigan

Retrieved from: www.commondreams.org

“Preliminary figures from the US Army Corps of Engineers show Lakes Michigan and Huron, considered a joint body of water, had record low water levels in December. The lakes’ water ended the month at 576.15 feet above sea level, just under the record 576.2 feet set in 1964.

And data released Friday in the Great Lakes Water Level Update from the US Army Corps of Engineers show that the water level of Lakes Michigan-Huron is 17 inches lower than last year, and forecasts the level falling another inch over the next month.

Preliminary data from NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory also show the trend continuing, with Lakes Michigan-Huron water levels starting 2013 at below normal levels.”

Read more: Common Dreams


Michigan DNR to remove illegal carp from lake

Photo retrieved from: www.nytimes.com

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources plans to use electrofishing and nets to remove illegal carp from a southern Michigan lake and study other nearby lakes for the presence of the fish, officials announced Monday,

The removal effort is planned this week at Marrs Lake in Lenawee County, where officials previously said they found a grass carp. The DNR plans to sample Washington, Wolf and Allen lakes, which are connected, for grass carp DNA to see whether the fish spread.

Grass carp are considered a species of Asian carp although they don’t pose the same risk to the ecosystem. According to the DNR, they eat important plants and can disrupt fish habitat.

The grass carp was found during a June survey after a fisherman submitted a photo of one at the lake about 20 miles southeast of Jackson.

During the survey, the DNR said, three other grass carp were spotted.

Tissue samples from the grass carp found during the survey were submitted to labs at theU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Southern Illinois University to determine whether the fish was capable of reproducing, and test results found that was the case, the DNR said.”

Read more: SF Gate


Keeping the Great Lakes great

Photo retrieved from: www.chicagotribune.com

“Biologists worried that the voracious creatures — brought to the U.S. as a means to enhance fish farming along the lower Mississippi River in the early 1970s — could escape from their ponds if floods breached the barriers holding them in place.

Sure enough, years later, the carp escaped and found the Mississippi River a paradise of ample food, ideal conditions for reproducing and few natural predators. At 100 pounds, they were big eaters and prolific breeders and they expanded their territory by moving north.

Now, Asian carp have moved up the Illinois River and are knocking at the door of Lake Michigan.

What is at risk? The Great Lakes contain a huge portion of the world’s fresh surface water — 20 percent. Thirty million Americans depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water. The $7 billion fishing industry depends on a healthy ecosystem. And of course, there is the priceless enjoyment millions of us experience when we swim, boat, or simply walk near the lakes.”

Read more: Chicago Tribune


Coal ash spills into Lake Michigan after bluff collapse

Retrieved from: www.iwatchnews.org

“It is unknown how much coal ash fell from the pile, but the spill left behind a debris field about 120 yards long, theMilwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports .

“Based on our land use records it is probable that some of the material that washed into the lake is coal ash,” We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty told the Journal Sentinel. “We believe that was something that was used to fill the ravine area in that site during the 1950s. That’s a practice that was discontinued several decades ago.”

As iWatch News has previously reported , coal ash is the leftover residue from burning coal that is known to contain neurotoxins like lead and mercury and the carcinogens such as arsenic. In a series of investigations iWatch News has examined the lack of federal oversight of the waste and its affects on communities near coal ash dump sites.

House Republicans championed legislation in mid-October that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to regulate coal ash and give regulatory authority to the states — a move that would shift authority away from the EPA and reduce federal regulations that Republicans say are burdensome.”

Read more: iwatch news