Report: Great Lakes ill-equipped to ship tar sands safely

Dec 3, 2013

As the tar sands industry continues to grow, a pressing issue is finding ways to transport the crude oil to midwest refineries. Some are hoping to ship tar sands across the Great Lakes, while others fear another disaster like the Kalamazoo spill.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Recently, the EPA denied Enbridge’s request to extend the deadline for dredging sections of the Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is still trying to clean up the remaining tar sands crude oil in the Kalamazoo watershed from the spill three years ago.

Last week the Alliance for the Great Lakes released a report which indicates that there are gaps in the basin’s oil spill response and prevention methods.

Lyman Welch, the report’s author and the water quality program director at the Alliance for the Great Lakes says one of the biggest concerns is that tar sands crude oil is extremely difficult to clean up.

This environmental segment of Current State is supported by Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. For more news of the Great Lakes environment, you can check out