Energy giant BP has confirmed a crude oil spill into Lake Michigan occurred on March 24, 2014, following a malfunction at its Indiana refinery.
The malfunction occurred with a crude oil distillation unit, sending oil into the refinery's cooling water outfall and into the lake, only several miles from Chicago. The company had just completed a $4-billion modernization of the century-old Whiting Refinery, the largest inland refinery in the U.S.
BP has placed the spill estimate between 370 to 750 gallons of crude.
The company says the spill has been contained, and the clean-up process continues.
“Lines of boom have been deployed to contain the oil and wind has blown oil toward the shore, where crews are vacuuming it out of the water and cleaning the limited quantities that have reached land between the refinery's wastewater treatment plant and a nearby steel mill,” BP said in a statement.