Investigation continues into Liberty Co. chemical spill

Investigation continues into Liberty Co. chemical spill

LIBERTY CO., Ga. (WTOC) -Investigators are on the ground in Liberty County taking water samples after a chemical spill happened Monday at SNF Chemtall in Riceboro, GA.

The Liberty County Emergency Management Agency says the chemical methyl chloride was quickly discovered, and warnings have been issued for areas along Riceboro Creek.

Some major takeaways from this chemical spill are that people in Liberty County should not fish near the Riceboro Dock, the Riceboro fishing dock, or the baptismal pool. Caution tape and signs dot the area, warning citizens to avoid the water.

The Liberty County Emergency Management agency says the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency are all investigating this spill.

“They are going around taking samples from along the possible contaminant sites and they will give us results back and once they get the results back from their independent labs,” said Larry Logan with Liberty Co. EMA.

Logan says he doesn’t know how long that will take, but they put up caution tape and signs telling people to not swim or fish in the water.

Normally, clear water is released from this plant after the burning of the methyl chloride gas, but after the routine sampling of water, they found out that gas did not burn and it was in the water in the Riceboro area.

“This type of chemical spill is something new," said Logan. "We’ve had chemical spills before, but nothing of this magnitude.”

There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to how much of this chemical actually spilled into the water? What will the cleanup process be? And also will this pose any health risks?

“If anybody has any problems or if they are concerned about that, they can call the Department of Natural Resources and get more information on that,” Logan said.

This spill is still being investigated by multiple agencies and Liberty County EMA says once they know more about the nature of the spill, they will let us know.

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