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Crews investigating contamination reported on Huron River

February 22, 2022 GMT

FLAT ROCK, Mich. (AP) — Emergency crews on Tuesday were investigating an apparent chemical leak or spill into the Huron River in a Detroit suburb, months after that community faced a fuel spill into its sewer system.

The Flat Rock Fire Department responded Monday evening to reports of a chemical-like sheen on the Huron River.

The department, along with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was working Tuesday to contain the contamination, determine its source and what it is, EGLE spokeswoman Jill Greenberg told the Detroit Free Press.

Firefighters have installed boom barriers in the river in an attempt to contain the sheen, she said.

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Flat Rock Mayor Mark Hammond said in an email to the Detroit Free Press, that responders are working on “a heavy oily sheen in the backwaters of the Huron River near Huroc Park.”

“The park has been closed for the day as environmental clean-up companies work to contain and remove the spill,” he said. “We would like to reassure the residents that the sheen poses no health risk at this time.”

The river contamination comes about six months after fuel fumes at flammable levels in the city of Flat Rock’s sanitary sewer system prompted evacuations of portions of the city for more than two weeks in September.

The source of that fuel spill was later determined to be the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant’s system for fueling manufactured vehicles.