Durbin, Kirk want to talk to BP about oil spill - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Durbin, Kirk want to talk to BP about oil spill

Updated:
CHICAGO -

Illinois' U.S. senators have asked for a meeting with BP after oil from the company's northwest Indiana refinery spilled into Lake Michigan.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk sent a letter to BP CEO John Minge on Thursday. In the letter the senators say they're "deeply concerned" about the spill. They say they want to talk with Minge about potential public health and environmental threats to surrounding communities.

The spill was reported Monday afternoon by BP, which has a sprawling refinery in Whiting, Ind., about 20 miles south of downtown Chicago.

The U.S. Coast Guard says an initial BP estimate shows between nine and 18 barrels of crude oil entered the lake.

The EPA says the spill isn't expected to affect municipal water supplies that draw on the lake.

On Thursday, BP says 15 to 39 barrels of oil have been recovered from Lake Michigan, according to a preliminary estimate.  That includes oil collected by vacuum trucks and absorbent boom, as well as solid material collected from the shoreline. BP says it's conducting further analysis to confirm the estimate.

BP says crews have recovered the vast majority of oil that had been visible on the surface of a cove-like area of the lake and on the shoreline between the refinery and an adjacent steel mill. BP says it's continuing to monitor the shoreline and has procedures in place to collect additional oil as discovered.

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