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Substance Dicharged Into Red Bank Creek Near Summerville

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission say they’re looking into a reported release of substances into a Jefferson County creek. This, concerning some viewers in the area who reached out to us.

Jefferson County EMA Director Tracy Zents tells us there’s been a release of a clay-and-water mixture into Redbank Creek around Summerville. That, he says, is coming from a nearby brick plant

Zents says the county EMA is involved but adds that it’s mostly the DEP and the PAFBC who are dealing with the matter.

Zents says there are no reported deaths of fish, as of right now. He notes, however, that it’s not a serious substance release at this moment.

A PAFBC spokesperson, speaking on background, confirms to us that there have been no reported aquatic animal deaths as a result of the substance, at this time. The spokesperson mentions an agency officer examining the scene on Tuesday for any impacts on wildlife, adding that the impact on aquatic wildlife appears to be “minimal,” assuming there’s an impact “at all.”

The PAFBC spokesperson also tells us this mix of materials that seeped into an unnamed tributary of Redbank Creek came from the operations of the corporation Glen-Gery, which manufactures bricks a few blocks from the creek. The creek is a tributary of the Allegheny River. The spokesperson described a “slurry” with a “milky, white” appearance, stretching for “several hundred yards” along the creek for a few days. Though, when 6 News visited the creek, traces of said slurry could not be spotted.

The spokesperson notes that this appears to be “a singular event” that visually impacted the river for a limited period of time, emphasizing there should be no health concerns for those living around the creek’s watershed at this time. They deferred any further public health or environmental comments to the DEP.

The DEP did not return our immediate request for comment.

We went into the Summerville office of Glen-Gery, asking if they could speak about the situation. An official there replied with “no comment.”

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