Clean up efforts are underway along the Flint River after a chemical spill was discovered Wednesday, June 15.
While the substance has yet to be identified, officials describe it as an oil-like material. About 20 miles of the river are affected, stretching from the city of Flint all the way to Montrose Township. An exact amount of the substance is unknown, though officials believe more than 1,000 gallons of the substance has leaked into the river.
The source of the leak is still under investigation, though a possible source is the Lockhart Chemical Company, which has a history of environmental violations. Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley has ordered a cease and desist of operations at the company.
The river is closed to the general public from Stepping Stone Falls to Willard Road. People will need to avoid contact with the river in that area, which includes swimming, kayaking, canoeing or fishing. Anyone caught violating the order could face a misdemeanor charge and $200 fine. Officials say there is no danger to the city of Flint’s drinking water.