Coast Guard: Oil spill closes shipping on St. Mary’s River

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An oil spill temporarily closed shipping traffic on the St. Marys River between Ontario and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The 5,300-gallon spill originated from Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

The 75-mile river connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron and serves as part of the border between Michigan and Ontario.

The Coast Guard asked for all traffic to stay away from the affected area.

The river reopened to shipping traffic later Thursday, MLive.com reported.

“We’re working in lock-step with our Canadian, American and tribal partners to ensure the sanctity of our river,” said Capt. Anthony Jones, commander of Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie.

Coast Guard pollution responders are monitoring the situation and will coordinate the containment with environmental cleanup organizations, MLive.com reported.

Algoma spokesperson Brenda Stenta said “the source of the spill has been safely contained.”

“The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Spills Action Centre, the Canadian Coast Guard and the City of Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) have been notified. We are currently coordinating with officials, deploying equipment, resources and personnel to mitigate any possible impact to the environment,” Stenta said.

Anyone with information or reports of oil sheens or oiled wildlife can contact the Coast Guard by calling (906) 635-3233.

No injuries were reported.

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