Oil leak in Straits of Mackinac possibly caused by vessel activity

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon McCarty, a marine science technician assigned to Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., conducts a waterside investigation of a mineral oil spill while Matt Kleitch, an environmental quality analyst for the state of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, looks for possible impacted wildlife on the Straits of Mackinac, Thursday, April 5, 2018. The Coast Guard has been overseeing response efforts from the mineral oil spill that leaked from utility lines on Monday, April 3, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Pamela Manns).

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon McCarty conducts a waterside investigation of a mineral oil spill on the Straits of Mackinac. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Pamela Manns).

MACKINAW CITY, Mich. — The mineral oil leak in American Transmission Company’s utility lines may have been caused by vessel activity in the Straits of Mackinac; in addition to the ongoing environmental response, the Coast Guard initiated a marine casualty investigation, Friday.

The Unified Command initiated notifications to entities responsible for other lines that cross the Straits to ensure that all steps are taken to assess and mitigate any potential damage to infrastructure or risk to the public health and the environment. Currently, there are no new indications of possible pollution.

The Coast Guard and ATC will continue to conduct overflights throughout the week as well as surveying the water from vessels. No oil sheen or indications of pollution are present.

The Unified Command’s effort to extract oil from ATC’s utility lines is ongoing. The estimated mineral oil spill from ATC’s utility lines remains at 600 gallons.

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