Crews cleaning up area spill

BEECH BOTTOM – Crews were involved Thursday in cleaning up a chemical spill that occurred last week near Beech Bottom Primary School.

Bob Fowler, Brooke County director of emergency management, said a driver with Yellow Trucking reported the spill to his dispatcher when it occurred last week near the intersection of Fourth and High streets, and crews from the Weavertown Environmental Group of Cecil, Pa., were called to clean it up.

Fowler said the material was POLYFLOC, a chemical that can cause skin irritation but isn’t highly hazardous. He didn’t know where it was being transported.

The chemical is used in separating solids for various applications, including water-based drilling mud.

Fowler said the incident was reported to state officials but not local officials at the time.

He said the spill was small but some material remained after the cleanup and spread more than 100 feet when it rained. He said a janitor at the school reported the spill to the county’s emergency 911 center at about 7 a.m. Thursday.

Fowler said crews returned to the scene Thursday and the material has been absorbed with sand and rock salt.

He said a group of children from the school normally walk in that area, and their parents were asked to bring other shoes as a precaution, but it was later learned the material wasn’t on their shoes.

Fowler said the school’s regular hours weren’t disrupted by the cleanup.