Hunter finds oil spill in rural Shiawassee County

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (11/27/15) - Where did the oil come from? That's the question environmental workers are trying to answer after oil is found in a local drain that leads directly to a Mid-Michigan river.

A hunter made the discovery along Wade Road near W. Wilkson Road in Owosso Township on Thanksgiving day.

Roughly 300 gallons of oil are seeping into the drain.

"The biggest hazard is it making it out to the Shiawassee River, so that's what we're here to stop," said Jeff Lippert, the on-scene coordinator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA is working alongside the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Shiawassee County Emergency Management director to find the source. The Owosso Township Fire Department has also assisted at the scene.

With so much farm land in the area, and countless drainage tiles under the land, find the source is a tall task. "We don't know. We're going to try and find out," Lippert said.

Clean up is underway too.

"We've got boom in the water, and what that's doing is corralling the oil where we can soak it up with some absorbent pads and other boom, then put that aside for disposal," Lippert said.

What you see by the culvert, isn't everything.

"Right here is where we're collecting it and we've got oil up as far probably a mile upstream," Lippert said.

Aside from locating the source, environmental officials are also trying to figure out what type of oil are they dealing with. It will be sent out, to find out the answer.

Whether it was accidental, or someone dumped the oil, the person responsible will be forced to pick up the tab for the clean up.

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