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U.S. EPA Response to the BP Whiting Oil Spill

Release Date: 03/25/2014
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute 312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release No. 14-OPA78

Chicago (March 25, 2014) --The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is responding to the spill of an unknown volume of oil into Lake Michigan from the BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana. BP notified the federal government’s National Response Center on March 24, 2014 at 5:25 p.m. that a spill had occurred.

EPA has issued a Notice of Federal Interest, which formally advises BP of the federal government’s involvement in the spill and directs the company to conduct a cleanup. Under EPA oversight, BP has deployed more than 2,000 feet of boom to contain the oil. In addition, the company has used vacuum trucks to remove about 5,200 gallons of an oil/water mixture from the spill location. BP crews also are combing a nearby company-owned beach for oil globs and conducting air monitoring to ensure the safety of the public. The U.S. Coast Guard has flown over the area and has not observed any visible sheen beyond the boomed area.

EPA will continue to work with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and BP to take measures to contain and clean up the oil. At this point there is no estimate of cleanup cost or duration.