UPDATE: BP To Learn Any Punishment For Lake Michigan Oil Spill

UPDATE: April 25

BP will soon learn if they will be punished for an oil spill along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

About 16,000 gallons of oil was discharged off the coast of Indiana last month after a problem at a refinery.

The Coast Guard sent a report about the spill to Washington.

A hearing officer will decide if BP will face fines, penalties or any corrective action because of the spill in about a month.

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Improved weather conditions made cleanup and assessment easier for crews along Lake Michigan’s shore.  

Sunday, assessment teams continued to monitor areas where oil had spilled. Crews ensured all oiled pebbles were removed. They re inspected the beach to make sure no other oil washed ashore.

A Coast Guard helicopter did not see any sheen on top of the water. After taking more than 36 underwater probes, the teams did not see any sheening or oil present in or on the water.  

Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator representative recommended removing most of the booms from the water. The boom located near the outfall of the water treatment facility of the refinery will remain in place. This was the located of the discharge.

It has been recommended to continue monitoring the beach until Thursday. 

Lawmakers are demanding answers from BP after oil spilled into Lake Michigan from the company’s northwest Indiana refinery.

US senators say they want to talk about potential public health and environmental threats to surrounding communities.

The spill was reported Monday afternoon when BP said a malfunction caused an oil leak in Lake Michigan. 

The Environmental Protection Agency found an area of about 5,000 square feet covered in crude oil on Monday, March 24 off the shore of Indiana.  

Crews from the EPA and Coast Guard are overseeing the cleanup operations and recommending cleanup techniques. 

The exact volume of oil is still undetermined. BP’s incident management team updated their estimate to 15 to 39 barrels of crude oil released into Lake Michigan. That is equivalent to 630 to 1,638 gallons.  This estimate is based on the amount of oil that has been recovered by vacuum trucks, from the booms or by hand on shore.

Stay with Northern Michigan’s News Leader for updates on the situation.