The extent of the July 2010 oil spill that contaminated the Kalamazoo River was nearly 40 percent greater than previously estimated, said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Enbridge Energy, the company whose pipeline ruptured near Marshall in July 2010, has claimed since the incident occurred it lost between 819,000 and 843,000 gallons of heavy crude oil.
However, the EPA’s website said they recovered 1,139,569 gallons of oil during cleanup efforts.
The website also indicated they will have to do more work to clean up submerged oil in the river system. That means they will recover more oil.
The website said the EPA “has identified pockets of submerged oil in three areas covering approximately 200 acres that require cleanup.”
One of those sites is in the Mill Pond within the city limits of Battle Creek and another lies within and just east of the village of Ceresco. The third is in Morrow Lake east of Kalamazoo.
The EPA reported that 15.7 million gallons of oil and water have been collected and disposed of since the cleanup began.
Enbridge said earlier this week it had suspended most of its cleanup operations for the season though it still planned to continue “passive recovery,” gathering oil in spots where it would naturally gather. The company plans to resume cleanup operations in the spring, focusing on the oil still submerged in the river bottom.