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Environmental crews say contaminant in Tinker Creek waterway was diesel fuel

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 7:41 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Last Friday, local emergency management crews were working to clean up a mysterious substance in Tinker Creek. While environmental crews worked to find the source, they had to respond to another HAZMAT situation Monday morning.

Friday, environmental management and storm water crews waded into the Tinker Creek waterway near Vinton.

It was, at that time, covered in a thin sheen. HAZMAT crews responded as rainfall helped the substance expand from Lick Run into Tinker Creek. They placed booms to contain the spill and try to soak it up. Monday afternoon, the Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that mystery substance was diesel fuel.

Jon Newbill, a remediation specialist with the Department of Environmental Quality’s Blue Ridge Regional Office, said they are still trying to find out where it came from. But the spill area being in an industrial part of the city is making that challenging, as was constant rainfall.

Meanwhile, environmental crews were also called out Monday morning to Carvin Creek. Officials say heavy rain caused a blue waste dye from the Double Envelope company to leak into a storm drain and into the creek, turning it temporarily blue.

But, Newbill said in both cases, it doesn’t appear aquatic life was affected.

Investigations are ongoing in both cases.

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