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Monday, May 2, 2016

Chem spill inquiry goes on

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management continues its investigation into the source of a chemical spill that occurred in Little Walnut Creek last month.

The chemical spill near the old No. 10 schoolhouse in Madison Township on Jan. 20 was initially spotted by a passing driver as a two-mile stretch of the creek had turned a green hue.

A paint can was containing an orange substance was discovered in the creek at the time of the spill. To date, no lid to this can has been found.

On Jan. 28, IDEM announced that the chemical was neither a herbicide nor a pesticide, as originally believed because of the nature of the spill. The Indiana Department of Health performed a rush on preliminary tests after the incident.

"We don't have results from the laboratory," IDEM spokeswoman Bonnie Nash told the Banner-Graphic Thursday morning. She explained that IDEM has investigators working on determining the identity of the mysterious chemical. Also, investigators are looking into how the chemical may have gotten into the creek, or by whom the chemical was dumped.

The night of the chemical spill, firefighters contained the contaminated area using dams made of bales of hay and rocks.

Fish and beaver were swimming in the contaminated water and did not appear to be impaired the night of the incident.

By the following morning, the chemical had diluted, leaving no chemical sheen behind.

Little Walnut Creek flows into Big Walnut Creek, which flows near well fields in Clay County. The water wells near the city of Brazil and surrounding area were shut down for 12 hours on Jan. 21 as a precautionary measure to possible contamination.

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