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Oil spill cleanup crews back on Talmadge Creek

There’s new cleanup work underway along Talmadge Creek near Marshall…near the site of 2010’s Enbridge oil spill.

The area was already the site of a massive cleanup effort. But now… work crews are back. The first round was supervised by the Environmental Protection Agency. This time… the state Department of Environmental Quality is overseeing the work.

Mark DuCharme is with the DEQ. He says the initial EPA-supervised cleanup focused on removing visible oil and sheen from Talmadge Creek.

“Our criteria is a little bit steeper than that in that we’re looking at chemical constituents as well as we have a little more of a threshold for what’s sheen and oil than what EPA had.”

DuCharme says the work going on now will ensure that erosion in the creek is controlled and that there’s not a chemical problem with the groundwater or in any of the soils.

He says the work that the DEQ is overseeing on Talmadge Creek should be wrapped up by March.

Enbridge delivered a revised cleanup plan to the EPA last month. It outlines the company’s plans for removing submerged oil from the Kalamazoo River into 2012.

Mark DuCharme with the state DEQ says there is a possibility that more work will need to be done after that….

“We have the potential to find problem areas that are a concern under the state’s compliance endpoints… where we may go to Enbridge and say ‘You need to conduct a response action.’”

The DEQ is working with Enbridge and the EPA to identify areas where a second round of cleanup may be needed.

Enbridge estimates that the cost of the total cleanup will be in the range of 700 million dollars.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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