Cady Marsh Ditch oil sheen investigation nearing completion

2013-04-22T13:11:00Z Cady Marsh Ditch oil sheen investigation nearing completionLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

The cleanup of an oil sheen on the Cady Marsh Ditch is complete and the investigation into the responsible party should wrap up by week's end, a representative for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

"It doesn't appear to be malicious," Jacob Hassan, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. EPA said Monday morning. "It was just an accidental thing."

An oil sheen appeared on the Cady Marsh Ditch April 11. Federal, state and local officials worked to clean up the 7-mile drainage ditch through Calumet Township, Griffith, Highland and Munster.

The amount of oil released in the waterway was minimal and quickly contained, officials said.

Last week, Lake County Surveyor George Van Til said the source appeared to be a leaking storage tank containing a lubricant used to keep newly poured concrete from sticking to wooden molds used in foundations.

Oil sheens are considered violations of the Clean Water Act. Hassan said the investigation is ongoing and officials should know by week's end whether any charges will be filed against the parties responsible for the leak, who have been cooperating with the investigation.

Hassan said the clean up work was complete before the heavy rains hit the region last week.

"We pulled the booms from the ditch Tuesday," he said. "The facility maintained booms and mitigation systems in inside their operations to ensure it was all being managed on site."

Hassan said there have been no reports of a sheen on Cady Marsh Ditch since the clean up ended and the heavy rains fell.

"It seems like the response actions did the trick," he said.

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