Easy Sustainability Answers

How does the new Michigan oil spill compare to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

Adriene Hill Jul 28, 2010

A broken oil pipeline discovered Monday near Marshal, Mich., is estimated to have spilled about 19,500 barrels of oil–or more than 800,000 gallons–into the local watershed. That makes it one of the largest spills ever in the Midwest.

(Curiously, a New York Times headline today called the spill a “leak“. Maybe that’s because the amount of oil that made its way into Michigan’s Kalamazoo river pales in comparison to the Gulf spill? Which gets us back to an earlier question: Should we call the BP spill a spill?)

The Associated Press estimates the size of the BP oil spill is more than 172,000,000 gallons.

In Michigan, a broken oil pipeline carrying crude from Indiana to Ontario, Canada, sprung a leak that sent oil pouring into the Kalamazoo river. According to the WSJ, owners Enbridge Energy Partners LP were able to close the leak and shut it down almost immediately.

It took BP nearly 90 days to seal its well.

About 100 people are expected to be working clean-up in Michigan today.

There are more than 29,000 people responding in the Gulf of Mexico.

*PHOTO: Workers using suction hoses try to clean up an oil spill of approximately 800,000 gallons of crude oil from the Kalamazoo River in Battle Creek, Michigan. A 30 inch-wide underground pipeline owned by Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Energy Partners LP, began leaking on June 26. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) *

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