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Authorities Responding to Possible Chemical Spill in Ohio River

UPDATE 3:30p.m.: Word from the Lake Dreamland Fire Department is that the sheen was about five gallons of oil. MetroSafe spokeswoman Jody Duncan said the spill was cleaned up and turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard.

ORIGINAL POST: Local, state and federal agencies are on site near Rubbertown investigating a mysterious sheen on the Ohio River.

Louisville MetroSafe spokeswoman Jody Duncan said there doesn't appear to be an active leak. The sheen is about two feet off the bank. It was noticed this morning by employees at Valero's terminal in the 4400 block of Bells Lane, but isn't coming from that facility.

"So what they think, they're presuming or assuming at this point since they find no active leak, is that something had leaked when it was coming through, like another barge or what-have-you, and it was offset and the current has gathered it to the bank," Duncan said.

The Lake Dreamland and Pleasure Ridge Park fire departments responded to the call, as did the Kentucky Division of Water, Metropolitan Sewer District and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Louisville Fire Department is bringing a boat out to survey the area and try to determine the source and composition of the sheen.

Duncan said a Code Red alert went out this morning to residents near Bells Lane who are signed up for the notification system, telling them that there was no immediate danger. The Ohio River is the source of drinking water for more than three million people; Louisville's water intake is upstream of this sheen.


Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.