Thursday’s oil spill has renewed concern about water quality in Michigan. A new report found Michigan’s groundwater quality is often overlooked and water advocates are sounding the alarm.
Water advocacy group For Love of Water — or FLOW — says they are concerned about Thursday’s oil spill into the St. Mary’s River. FLOW Executive Director, Liz Kirkwood, says it’s a sign something needs to be done to protect our waters.
“Oil and water don’t mix. And it’s extremely difficult to clean up,” Kirkwood states. “This oil spill is just part of a long litany of other human made disaster that imperil our waters.”
FLOW says it’s a wake up call to the threats our drinking water faces. In a report they released yesterday, they say the state has underinvested in monitoring, mapping and reporting groundwater quality. They say this has led to more than 15,000 contamination sites in Michigan in the past century.
“A huge percentage of Michiganders get water from surface water, but 45-percent of Michiganders get their water from groundwater. So, oil spill are obviously very concerning as well as any other chemical contamination,” Kirkwood explains.
She says this oil spill in particular reminds us that we’re playing with fire in the Straits of Mackinac
“With the location of this particular oil spill it’s a real wake up call on the threat that the Line 5 oil line proposes to the Great Lakes,” Kirkwood claims.
Kirkwood says something has to be done about Line 5 before a far worse oil spill happens in the Great Lakes. While some in Northern Michigan don’t seem too concerned. Either way Kirkwood says something has to be done before a much more catastrophic spill occurs.
“We’ve had too many disasters and these are the warning signs and reminds of how we need to make sure we’re prioritizing the protection of water. Because you know, you can’t drink oil,” Kirkwood laughs.