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EMA: Chemicals spill into Ohio River in Owensboro

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 7:09 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 7:10 PM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Daviess County EMA Director Andy Ball confirms there was a chemical spill in the Ohio River at Dart Polymers.

Battalion Chief Steve Leonard with the Owensboro Fire Department says it happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday. He said the department was on scene until 2 a.m.

The Kentucky Emergency Response Team and the EPA have been on scene.

Officials say they haven’t been able to determine what caused the spill, but it remains under investigation.

Ball says Dart Polymers also had a spill contract company on scene.

Officials with Dart Polymers released the following statement on Thursday afternoon in regard to the chemical release:

Dart Polymers Inc., which processes styrene monomer into polystyrene used to manufacture food & beverage packaging, has contained a release of approximately 900 gallons of liquid monomer that occurred onsite. Of the estimated 900 gallons of styrene released, approximately 300 gallons left the property and entered the environment, including the Ohio River. Cleanup efforts are ongoing.

No injuries have been reported and evacuation of the facility was not required.

Dart followed its rigorous emergency response plan to contain the release and notified the Federal and Kentucky Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), Kentucky Emergency Response Team and the US Coast Guard. Officials visited the facility today to review Dart’s cleanup and remediation efforts per agency protocols. As a result of the remediation efforts undertaken, Dart believes river water quality was not affected. The investigation to determine the cause of the release is ongoing.

Dart thanks our employees for following safety protocols to contain and mitigate the release, and the Owensboro Fire Department for their assistance.

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