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National Briefing / Illinois

Sludge spills into Des Plaines River

February 09, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A holding tank broke at a Caterpillar facility in Joliet, spilling about 65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminating a three-mile section of the Des Plaines River, officials said.

The substance was reported to be hydraulic and cutting oil, said Maggie Carson, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

"It is being contained, and there is no evidence of a fish kill or harm to waterfowl," Carson said in an e-mail.

Most of the sludge spilled on land, but 6,000 gallons seeped into Des Plaines River water, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer William Mitchell said.

He said the oil waste poses no risk to human health but could be dangerous to animals.

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