Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Chicago Mayor Demands Answers From BP After Oil Spill

Energy
Chicago Mayor Demands Answers From BP After Oil Spill

Though this week's BP oil spill on Lake Michigan didn't take place in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's territory, it was close enough.

At just 20 miles away in Whiting, IN, the estimated eight-to-12-barrel spill could have impacted the water source of about 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs. That's why a fiery Rahm Emanuel is demanding answers from BP and environmental agencies. He told reporters that he'd prefer a "full account."

"I want a report on what happened, how it happened, why did it happen, how much happened and how do you prevent it from ever happening again,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “Chicago’s water was rated No. 1. I don’t want anything to ever endanger it. We’re investing in it. I want to make sure BP is a good corporate citizen next door in Indiana."

Crews have been cleaning a Lake Michigan oil spill this week from a BP refinery in Whiting, IN. Photo credit: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

BP's initial assessment was that the spill could have totaled between 378 and 756 gallons of crude oil. BP crews used vacuum trucks to remove about 5,200 gallons of an oil-water mixture from the site near the BP refinery and the shoreline of a nearby beach. Still, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there are appear to be no negative effects on the lake.

The Lake Michigan spill took place a week after the EPA lifted its drilling ban on BP, which was related to the Deepwater Horizon oil and gas disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The fact that literally days after BP was cleared to bid on federal oil and gas leases the company is cleaning up yet another spill—this one threatening the drinking water of 7 million people —sends a clear message," Valerie Love, a No Keystone XL Campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. "Not only can BP not be trusted to safely process crude oil, it’s obviously not capable of handling highly corrosive and toxic Alberta tar sands." 

When the Chicago Sun-Times asked BP to respond to Emanuel's demands, an email response from a company spokesman did not address whether the company would issue the type of report the mayor requested.

“BP continues to make progress in responding to an incident Monday at the Whiting Refinery," the spokeswoman wrote. “Crews have recovered the vast majority of oil that had been visible on the surface of a cove-like area of Lake Michigan and on the shoreline between the refinery and a nearby steel mill.

"Monitoring continues in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management."

———

Related Content:

4 Years After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, EPA Lifts BP’s Gulf Drilling Ban

BP Disaster Recovery Through the Lens of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Evidence Finds BP Gulf Oil Disaster Causing Widespread Deformities in Fish

Plastic pollution lines a Singapore beach. Vaidehi Shah/ CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

Our plastic pollution problem has reached new heights and new depths.

Scientists have found bits of plastic on the seafloor, thousands of feet below the ocean's surface. Plastic debris has also washed ashore on remote islands; traveled to the top of pristine mountains; and been found inside the bodies of whales, turtles, seabirds and people, too.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A large loggerhead with other injuries washed ashore during the latest cold-stunning event and was treated at New England Aquarium. New England Aquarium

Hundreds of endangered sea turtles were stranded on beaches after suffering "cold stunning" in the waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Local rescuers and wildlife rehabilitators stabilized the turtles at the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and National Marine Life Center and began treatment. Many of the sea turtles were transported by land or air to partner facilities around the Eastern Seaboard for longer-term care to make room for more incoming, cold-stunned animals.

Read More Show Less

Trending

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be so closely aligned that they will appear as a "double planet." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / YouTube

The night sky has a special treat in store for stargazers this winter solstice.

Read More Show Less
Rough handling can result in birds becoming injured before slaughter. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals

By Dena Jones

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was sued three times this past summer for shirking its responsibility to protect birds from egregious welfare violations and safeguard workers at slaughterhouses from injuries and the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
A view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during Arctic Bird Fest on June 25, 2019. Lisa Hupp / USFWS

By Julia Conley

Conservation campaigners on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of taking a "wrecking ball" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the White House announced plans to move ahead with the sale of drilling leases in the 19 million-acre coastal preserve, despite widespread, bipartisan opposition to oil and gas extraction there.

Read More Show Less