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Michigan to begin oil refinery cleanup on Muskegon lake

Environmental Protection Agency seal
Environmental Protection Agency

Officials will soon begin cleaning up lead and petroleum contamination from a former oil refinery in western Michigan.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality hope to make significant progress this year at the former Zephyr Oil Refinery site in Muskegon Township.

Sara Pearson is a unit supervisor for the DEQ's remediation and redevelopment division. She said Thursday the effort aims to remove 44,000 cubic yards (33,600 cubic meters) of contaminated soil and sediments from the site and nearby wetlands.

Cleanup crews will inject a liquid chemical agent in the soil at the site. The compound will break down the harmful underground petroleum deposits. A hydraulic vacuum truck will suck up leftover chemicals and un-oxidized soil.