Grand River Oil Spill Mystery Deepens - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Grand River Oil Spill Mystery Deepens

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(WLNS) - Five days after officials discovered an oil spill in the Grand River there's still no word on who's to blame.

And now, as workers clean up the mess and as city and state officials search for answers, Lansing police are calling it a criminal investigation.

The natural beauty of the Grand River tainted by oil.

Julie Powers of the mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council says, "I've got pictures of it, I've seen it, I smelled it, I got really close to it, and then I got a headache."

City and state officials say on Thursday they noticed a sheen in the river near the fish ladder near in Old Town.

And when officials learned the oil coming from a city storm sewer they quickly took action.

"We placed containment booms within the river that had an absorbent property to suck up any hydrocarbons," said Trent Atkins of the Lansing Fire Department.

And officials are changing out those booms every 12 hours to make sure they collect any extra oil floating on the river.

So far officials say they've collected less than five gallons of oil which might seem like a small amount but because no one knows the source they're worried there could be more.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says, "We have no idea what's coming out of the pipe next, what's coming down the river next because we don't know where it's coming from."

Crews say they've inspected sewer systems in sixteen blocks searching for that answer.

And now police are joining the investigation saying there could be criminal activity.

Lansing police chief Mike Yankowski says, "Well, based upon the information and the evidence that we're finding out here is that this would lead us to believe that potentially somebody could be doing this on purpose." 

Powers adds,"We all need to take care of this river. And when you see stuff like this, you gotta call 911...there's a lot of ways you can dispose of these hazardous materials at low or no cost. You don't need to dump them into the storm drain."

Officials say if you know anything about this spill call Lansing Police or Crimestoppers at 517-483-STOP

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