Lake Michigan BP Whiting Oil Spill

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Windy weather may have helped contain an oil spill along the Lake Michigan shoreline near Whiting, Indiana.

BP notified the federal government’s National Response Center on March 24, 2014 at 5:25 p.m. that a spill had occurred at the BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Indiana..

The Coast Guard received a report Monday night of a sheen from an unknown substance discharging from an outflow adjacent to the refinery.

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago and the EPA responded and found an area of about 5,000 square feet covered in crude oil.

In response to the discharge, BP established an incident command post and deployed about 2,000 feet of boom, along with vacuum trucks to begin initial containment and recovery operations in a cove adjacent to the refinery.

A shoreline cleanup assessment team (SCAT), made up of personnel from the Coast Guard, EPA, Indiana Department of Environmental Management and BP, surveyed the shoreline.

The team saw minimal oiling of the shoreline and recommended a small manual removal crew conduct maintenance along the shoreline.

By mid week, crews were combing a nearby company-owned beach for oil globs and conducting air monitoring.

Although the exact volume of oil released was initially unknown. On Wednesday morning, BP’s incident management team provided an estimate of between 9-18 barrels, based on initial visual inspections. On the following day, the estimate was revised upward to 15-39 barrels, based on additional information.


U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) 9th District

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)