Kalamazoo River oil spill update: A lot of work accomplished, but still more to do

Aug 17, 2011

Dozens of people who turned out for a public hearing in Marshall on the cleanup of last Summer’ s oil spill in the Kalamazoo River left without hearing the news they wanted to hear….that the river will soon reopen.  

More than 766 thousand gallons of crude oil have been recovered during  the past twelve months.   But there are still large deposits of  submerged oil in three different parts of the river.

Chuck Bradley lives  along the river, near where a flotilla of skimming boats still leave every morning at 8am to remove oil from the river.     He’s frustrated that federal, state and local officials continue to peg August 31st at a date for reassessing whether they can reopen the river.  

“They put this August 31st…..BULL…..it ain’t gonna happen.  I don’t know why they put August 31st out there….I live on the river…. It’s  going to be another year.”

Susan Hedman is the EPA’s Regional Administrator.    She says she remains hopeful part of the river might be reopened after the August 31st reassessment.   But Hedman says the river can not fully reopen while cleanup operations are underway.