Petroleum spill in drain leaks into Clinton River
A petroleum leak in the Schoenherr Relief Drain in Warren was under investigation Friday after a resident noticed a sheen moving down the Clinton River near Budd Park in Clinton Township.
The Macomb County Public Works Office responded to the leak Friday morning after getting the resident's report.
Macomb County officials worked with public works and fire department personnel from Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Warren to track the source of the material back to the Schoenherr Relief Drain near 14 Mile and Schoenherr roads.
County public works personnel believe the up-to 100 gallons of petroleum must have come from a fuel storage tank of some kind, based on the volume of material in the drain.
The Schoenherr Relief Drain is a large, underground storm drain that travels south-north under Schoenherr Road from Nine Mile to just north of 14 Mile.
The drain enters the Red Run, which enters the Clinton River and eventually transports water out to Lake St. Clair.
Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said the department was able to catch the petroleum "before the bulk of it made it to Lake St. Clair."
"We are all one big watershed and all the storm water in the metro area runs out to Lake St. Clair or other parts of the Great Lakes Basin. We all have to work together to prevent pollution from entering the lakes,” Miller said.
Inspectors from Miller's office and Warren were working Friday afternoon to pinpoint the source of the fuel. Miller said those found responsible will be held accountable.
“We cannot keep polluting our lake. The day where that was acceptable is over and the conversation has changed,” Miller said.
The public works office maintains a 24-hour pollution hotline at (877) 679-4337.