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Solvent spills in Ohio River

Mar 1, 2007 | UPI

A barge ruptured after hitting a dam, spilling up to 8,000 gallons of a toxic solvent into the Ohio River near Brookport, Ill.

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Wayne Chapman told CNN that the spill of cumene did not pose an immediate threat to drinking water systems. The solvent, which is used to make other chemicals, floats on the water and evaporates, he said, and had not been detected at water intake systems along the river.

The Kirby Marine barge hit an underwater, moveable dam called a wicket dam, CNN said. The company said it would move the remaining solvent to another barge.

Maggie Carson of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency told CNN the agency is assessing the environmental impact of the spill.

"There's a tremendous volume of water going through there, so there's a dilution factor and this will be taken into consideration as they try to take measures to contain it," Carson said.

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