CHICAGO, IL – It remains unclear how much oil spilled into Lake Michigan or how long the discharge continued within a few miles from Chicago city limits but BP is once again responsible for yet another accident.
Workers at the refinery reported an oil sheen on the water about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the leak was plugged by the time he arrived at 9 p.m. Initial reports suggest that strong winds pushed most of the oil toward a sandy cove on BP’s property between the refinery and an Arcelor Mittal steel mill.
BP said a mixture of heavy and light oil somehow leaked into a sealed cooling system that circulates water between Lake Michigan and the refinery. Oil is never supposed to come in direct contact with the cooling water.
The Whiting plant remains one of the largest sources of industrial pollution discharged into Lake Michigan, according to federal records.