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State investigates spill at US Salt

WATKINS GLEN—State environmental officials are investigating a spill at US Salt in Watkins Glen that released about 2,000 gallons of salt brine into Seneca Lake.
The accidental spill occurred just after 8 p.m. Sunday (June 14), said Yancey Roy,  spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
“The initial investigation indicates there was no significant environmental impact,” Roy said. “The investigation is ongoing.”
Roy said the release of brine lasted for about 10 minutes.and that there were no injuries during the incident. US Salt is cooperating in the investigation, he said.
Frank Pastore, plant manager at US Salt,  said the spill occurred during routine well maintenance.
“We were inserting some new casing and a thread slipped and the casing dislodged a plug,” he said. “It was contained within 10 minutes and we
flushed fresh water where it spilled into a creek (that flows into Seneca Lake).”
Pastore said the incident was “very unusual” and had not happened recently at the Watkins Glen facility.
“Everyone did the right thing,” he said. “We notified the Department of Environmental Conservation and contained it immediately.” 
US Salt, located on Salt Point Road on the west side of Seneca Lake, is a subsidiary of US Salt LLC of Kansas City, Mo. It is one of two major salt producers in Watkins Glen, the other being Cargill Salt.

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