Analysis traces Flint River spill to nearby chemical company

Carol Thompson
The Detroit News

State environmental regulators have confirmed the substance found at a pair of containments at a Flint chemical company matches the petroleum-based substance spilling into the Flint River.

A "chemical fingerprinting" analysis of three samples show the substance is identical to that in a pair of containments at Lockhart Chemical Co. on James P. Cole Boulevard, which is near the Flint River, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said Friday.

The company is required to undertake and fund the cleanup and remediation, EGLE said. It has agreed to accept responsibility.

An oil boom was stretched across the Flint River on Wednesday, slightly downriver from the Flint River Trail bridge.

"Potential fines or penalties will be addressed once an investigation into the incident is complete," the department said in a release.

More:State investigates 'several thousands of gallons' spilled on Flint River

The spill was reported to state officials on Wednesday morning. Material is continuing to seep out of a discharge pipe Friday afternoon, EGLE said. Emergency responders set up containment booms to collect the pollution and prevent it from spreading.

Lockhart has a history of violations related to storage of hazardous material at its Flint site, state environmental records dating back to 2016 show.

The spill does not affect Flint's drinking water. The city purchases Lake Huron water from Detroit. There are no drinking water intakes in the Flint River.

More:Michigan environmental regulators identify likely source of Flint River spill