WHITING, Ind. – Crews for oil giant BP worked Tuesday to clean up an undetermined amount of crude oil that spilled into Lake Michigan and affected about a half-mile section of shoreline near Chicago following a malfunction at BP’s northwestern Indiana refinery, officials said.
The spill reported Monday afternoon by BP appears to have been contained by company crew members who deployed absorbent booms around the spill site, said Mike Beslow, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5.
BP spokesman Scott Dean said the area affected by the spill was a cove along Lake Michigan at the company’s sprawling Whiting refinery, which covers about 1,400 acres.
The spill is about 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago but was not expected to pose any threat to municipal water supplies that draw on the lake’s water, Beslow said.
A Coast Guard flyover of the area Tuesday did not reveal any oil outside the containment booms, Beslow said, “but there is oil on the beach that is being addressed.”