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Several thousands of gallons of oily material in Flint River

June 15, 2022 GMT
City, Genesee County and state of Michigan agencies are responding to a significant oil spill in the Flint River, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Officials for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said the spill, estimated at several thousand gallons, was reported to a state hotline at 8:15 a.m. Hugh McDiarmid, an EGLE spokesman, said state environmental officials and local emergency responders are in the area of the spill, James P. Cole Boulevard and I-475, and have begun to deploy a boom across the river in an effort to absorb the material. (Jake May/MLive.com/The Flint Journal via AP)
City, Genesee County and state of Michigan agencies are responding to a significant oil spill in the Flint River, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Officials for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said the spill, estimated at several thousand gallons, was reported to a state hotline at 8:15 a.m. Hugh McDiarmid, an EGLE spokesman, said state environmental officials and local emergency responders are in the area of the spill, James P. Cole Boulevard and I-475, and have begun to deploy a boom across the river in an effort to absorb the material. (Jake May/MLive.com/The Flint Journal via AP)
City, Genesee County and state of Michigan agencies are responding to a significant oil spill in the Flint River, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Officials for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said the spill, estimated at several thousand gallons, was reported to a state hotline at 8:15 a.m. Hugh McDiarmid, an EGLE spokesman, said state environmental officials and local emergency responders are in the area of the spill, James P. Cole Boulevard and I-475, and have begun to deploy a boom across the river in an effort to absorb the material. (Jake May/MLive.com/The Flint Journal via AP)
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City, Genesee County and state of Michigan agencies are responding to a significant oil spill in the Flint River, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Officials for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said the spill, estimated at several thousand gallons, was reported to a state hotline at 8:15 a.m. Hugh McDiarmid, an EGLE spokesman, said state environmental officials and local emergency responders are in the area of the spill, James P. Cole Boulevard and I-475, and have begun to deploy a boom across the river in an effort to absorb the material. (Jake May/MLive.com/The Flint Journal via AP)
1 of 6
City, Genesee County and state of Michigan agencies are responding to a significant oil spill in the Flint River, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. Officials for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy said the spill, estimated at several thousand gallons, was reported to a state hotline at 8:15 a.m. Hugh McDiarmid, an EGLE spokesman, said state environmental officials and local emergency responders are in the area of the spill, James P. Cole Boulevard and I-475, and have begun to deploy a boom across the river in an effort to absorb the material. (Jake May/MLive.com/The Flint Journal via AP)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Several thousands of gallons of an oil-based, dark black material with a petroleum smell spilled into the Flint River in Flint, authorities said Wednesday.

The spilled appeared to be 5 miles (8 kilometers) miles long, Jill Greenberg, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s environmental agency, told MLive.com.

“Booms are being deployed and investigators are working to determine a source,” the agency said on Twitter.

Officials said drinking water was not threatened. Flint used the river for drinking water in 2014-15 before lead contamination caused the city to return to a regional water supplier.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sending two on-scene coordinators to Flint in response, an EPA spokeswoman said.

Agencies from the city of Flint, Genesee County and the state of Michigan were among those that responded initially to what the state has said was a spill of several thousands of gallons of an oil-based, dark black material with a petroleum smell.

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They’ve said the spilled material, located within a 10-mile stretch of the river, looks similar to motor oil.

Representatives of the state agency took samples from the affected area of the river Wednesday, but Greenberg said results were not immediately available.

“We’re still in emergency response mode ...,” said Jill Greenberg, an EGLE spokeswoman. “We’ve identified a potential source, but we are still investigating.”