MARSHALL, Mich. (WOOD) - Colder weather is forcing some oil spill cleanup crews on the Kalamazoo River to pause their work.
Enbridge spokesman Jason Manshum confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that "submerged oil recovery is done for the year."
About 840,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo river from an Enbridge pipeline in July 2010. Since then, Enbridge has been working to clean up the spill.
Much of that oil is submerged, which is unusual in oil spills. The type of oil that was being transported in the pipeline was heavy enough that it sunk to the bottom of the river and mixed with the sediment.
The colder temperatures make cleanup more difficult and forcing a halt to cleanup efforts until the spring.
But Manshum said that the company has made significant progress. "We have recovered the majority of the submerged oil," he said. "We are taking core samples and they will be analyzed and tested to determine how much oil is left ... There are only remnants."
But though cleanup of the water itself is stalled until temperatures rise, crews will continue to clean along the river banks during the winter.
"We will continue to work under the supervision of the DEQ and the EPA. The EPA has given us a new directive and we are working to determine what needs to be done in 2012 to meet their deadlines," said Manshum.