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BP’s Whiting Refinery is seen along the shore of Lake Michigan on Tuesday. (The Times | Kyle Telechan)

BP Whiting oil spill hits Lake Michigan

WHITING, Ind. – Officials say a malfunction at BP's Whiting refinery in northwestern Indiana has released an undetermined amount of oil into Lake Michigan.

BP spokesman Dean Scott said workers discovered Monday afternoon that oil had entered the refinery's cooling water system, which discharges into the lake about 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago. He told The Times of Munster (http://bit.ly/1iwIDzG ) that BP crews have placed two booms in the water to contain the oil.

Scott said northerly winds have helped by pushing the oil toward the shore and not out into the lake.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan Goldblatt said an agency staffer reported seeing "a large sheen on the lake" about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Goldblatt said BP reports that this sheen was no longer visible about six hours later.

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