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Testing confirms chemical company as source of Flint River petroleum release

Results of testing completed Friday afternoon by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) confirm that the Lockhart Chemical Company is the source of a release of petroleum product to the Flint River.

The “chemical fingerprinting” analysis from three separate samples showed the petroleum-based substance that triggered a multi-agency emergency response Thursday is identical to substances on the Lockhart site.

As the responsible party, Lockhart is required to undertake and fund cleanup and remedial actions. The company has agreed to accept responsibility.

Michigan EGLE along with federal and local responders from multiple agencies will continue to work to ensure the contamination is removed. Potential fines or penalties will be addressed once an investigation into the incident is complete.

Officials stressed that the leaking substance is being removed from the site, and booms are containing and removing residual material that may continue to seep out of the discharge pipe. Drinking water is not affected by the release because there are no drinking water intakes on the Flint River.