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Authorities Seeking Source Of 300-Gallon Oil Spill In Shiawassee County Drain

OWOSSO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- An oil spill discovered by a hunter in Shiawassee County has not spread to a nearby river, a state environmental official said.

Crews are estimating the spill in a county drain in Owosso Township to be about 300 gallons, The Flint Journal reported Friday.

The spill covers approximately a three-mile stretch of the drain but has not been observed in the Shiawassee River, Department of Environmental Quality analyst Susan Doty said.

"The source has not been identified, but the active discharge seems to have stopped," Doty said. "There's no new oil being introduced into the system. The oil does seem to be contained."

The oil covers about a three-mile stretch of the county drain which connects to a state drain. The state drain connects to the river.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken over the investigation. Crews have been using multiple oil-soaking booms in removal efforts.

The hunter reported the spill Thursday and call it in to the Department of Environment Quality's Pollution Emergency Alerting System, Doty said.

"That's a great way to let the appropriate parties know if there is an environmental emergency," she said. "This could have gone straight to the Shiawassee River had this hunter not reported it."

The state, Shiawassee Emergency Management, Owosso Township Fire Department and the EPA are working together on the cleanup.

Doty said the oil should be cleaned up in the next few days.

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