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GLIN==> 2 articles regarding developments in Rouge and Detroit Rivers Oil Spillcatastrophe




----- Forwarded by Rich Greenwood/R3/FWS/DOI on 06/19/02 03:10 PM -----



      Feds raid firm in oil spill inquiry
      Agents seize computers, documents at Dearborn waste disposal company
      By Hawke Fracassa / The Detroit News
      <<...OLE_Obj...>> DEARBORN -- Federal agents raided an industrial
      waste disposal company Tuesday, seizing documents and computers as
      part of an investigation into April's massive oil spill into the
      Rouge River that stretched 27 miles.
      No charges have been filed against Comprehensive Environmental
      Solutions Inc., where the raid occurred. The Nevada-based company
      recently purchased Rich Coast Environmental Solutions Inc. at 6011
      Wyoming.
      Congressman John D. Dingell, D-Dearborn, issued a statement after two
      of his aides visited the Comprehensive Environmental Solutions plant
      to survey the property.
      "I have been informed that the criminal investigation into the oil
      spill on the Rouge and Detroit rivers is accelerating, and that
      search warrants have been executed," Dingell said.
      "I am fully confident that investigators will identify and prosecute
      the perpetrators of this environmental catastrophe."
      Three men who identified themselves as federal agents watched over
      the waste disposal company's property Tuesday night from behind the
      locked gates and barbed wire. They declined to comment.
      FBI and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigations
      Division agents referred inquiries to U.S. Attorney Jeffrey G.
      Collins, who did not return phone calls to his home Tuesday. Several
      calls to the U.S. attorney's spokeswoman were not returned.
      Investigators were trying to determine if the Rouge River was
      polluted by oil that traveled through storm sewer pipes from the
      company. The company treats waste oil from industrial sources.
      Oil began spilling into the Rouge River April 9 and entered the
      Detroit River the next day. Cleanup crews contained the spill with
      200-foot booms.
      The first oil was discovered in a large storm sewer almost two months
      ago under Wyoming, about a mile from the company that was raided.
      Investigators said they analyzed at least 2,000 gallons of oil.
      Federal authorities have spent at least $4 million cleaning up the
      estimated 70,000 gallons of industrial-grade oil that polluted the
      Rouge and Detroit rivers. At last count, 50,000 gallons of oil had
      been recovered from the rivers, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
      Anyone convicted of causing such a spill could be fined $27,500 a day
      and charged for the cleanup. Dingell has introduced a bill that would
      double fines for dumpers.
      <<...OLE_Obj...>>
      You can reach Hawke Fracassa at (313) 222-2320 or
      hfracassa@detnews.com. <mailto:hfracassa@detnews.com>


Dearborn company is focus of search
Officials seek clues to oil spill in April
June 19, 2002
BY DAN SHINE
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Federal and state officials investigating an April oil spill in the Rouge
and Detroit rivers are expected to continue searching a Dearborn oil
reclamation facility today for clues to the spill's origin.


Officials from the FBI, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Attorney's
Office, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and the state Attorney General's
Office spent Monday and Tuesday executing a search warrant at Comprehensive
Environmental Solutions on Wyoming at Ford, an FBI spokeswoman said
Tuesday.


Early in the investigation, oil was found in a sewer line that runs along
Wyoming.
The search warrant was sealed, but a person close to the investigation said
it likely included documents that would detail how much oil the facility
took in and how much it shipped out. Samples of oil also likely would be
collected to see whether it matched oil taken from the Rouge, which has
been analyzed by scientists and given a unique fingerprint.


In April, more than 60,000 gallons of used industrial oil spilled into the
Rouge and traveled about two miles to the Detroit River. It then floated in
several small patches down the river into northern Lake Erie. About 27
miles of U.S. and Canadian shoreline were affected.


The Rouge was closed for several days while crews skimmed the oil off the
water and cleaned the shorelines. Cleanup costs were more than $2 million.


EPA officials have said the April spill is the largest in the Great Lakes
in the last 12 years. In 1990, a tanker exploded on the Saginaw River in
Bay City, spilling at least 10,000 gallons of gasoline, EPA officials said.


U.S. Rep. John Dingell, whose district includes Dearborn, said in a
statement late Tuesday that he heard from officials that the investigation
into the oil spill "is accelerating and that search warrants have been
executed."


"I am fully confident that investigators will identify and prosecute the
perpetrators of this environmental catastrophe," Dingell said.


Contact DAN SHINE at 313-223-4554 or dshine@freepress.com <
mailto:dshine@freepress.com>. Staff writer Cecil Angel contributed to this
report.








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