The State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was alerted to an oil spill at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26 by a vigilant passerby. Upon investigation, MDEQ observed oil in a County Drain near Wilkinson and Wade Roads in Owosso. The drain is known as the Miner Drain and is a tributary of the Shiawassee River. The product observed was a thick black petroleum oil. Approximately 300 gallons of oil were estimated to have been released into the County Drain from an unknown source south of Mason Road in Owosso Township. Shiawassee County Emergency Management and DEQ requested assistance from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). U.S. EPA mobilized resources to contain and clean up the spill. Resources include absorbent booms, pads and snares. A vacuum truck is on site removing oil from the surface of the water in the drain. Additional resources, including an excavator, skid steer and containment boom, have been brought in to assist with vegetation removal and oil recovery.
The spill has been contained to a three mile stretch of drain between Mason Road (Owosso Township) and King Road (Rush Township). Since the spill is contained to surface water in the Miner Drain, there has been no known threat to groundwater. Health officials will continue to monitor the spill to ensure that there is no danger to drinking water wells.
The prompt response of local and state authorities prevented the spill from reaching the Shiawassee River. Agencies responding to the spill include DEQ, U.S. EPA, Shiawassee County Emergency Management, Owosso Township Fire Department, Shiawassee County Drain Office, Shiawassee County Health Department and Shiawassee County Road Commission.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the spill. Any questions regarding the spill can be directed to Richard Warner at (989) 743-2620.