LUKE, Md. - The Maryland Department of the Environment is currently investigating what could possibly be a chemical leak from Verso's Luke mill, according to The Washington Post.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
LUKE, Md. - The Maryland Department of the Environment is currently investigating what could possibly be a chemical leak from Verso’s Luke mill, according to The Washington Post.
In a story by the Post’s Fredrick Kunkle, MDE officials said they suspect the leak is “black liquor,” described as a by-product of paper manufacturing that is “about as caustic as lye.”
A photo credited to the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, an environmental watchdog group, shows the leak seeping into the Potomac River beside the mill. The area is located along the West Virginia side of the river.
“The Maryland Department of the Environment has been working with the publicly traded company (Verso) since April to pinpoint the source of the leak and develop a plan to clean it up,” according to The Post.
The Luke mill shut down production on May 30.
According to Verso spokesperson Kathi Rowzie, “It is not certain that the seepage is black liquor or that the mill is the source. We are working with the environmental consultant and the state agencies to identfy the substance and where it originated.”
Rowzie also said Verso has, “in an abundance of caution,” installed a temporary pump to help isolate the affected area.