Agencies investigate CertainTeed effluent spill

SPILL IN RIVER–Runover from CertainTeed’s effluent field turned the Falls River and Ogemaw Creek white on Monday morning, Oct. 17, 2016. Agencies responding to the spill included Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department, Baraga DNR staff and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. MDEQ is yet to determine if there will be any punitive action toward the company. Photo by Jeff Hubbard, Baraga County Emergency Management.

by Barry Drue
An apparent overflow of effluent from the CertainTeed spraying fields led to a white plume that floated through Ogemaw Creek to the Falls River and eventually to Keweenaw Bay. The spill was first reported about 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. Baraga County’s new Emergency Manager, Jeff Hubbard, saw the Falls River near his home on Golf Course Road running nearly white with the spill Monday morning. Significant rain had fallen prior to the event. “I saw it at the bridge over the Falls River on Golf Course Road. I called to report it as a citizen and then kind of put my other at on and looked into it (as the county’s Emergency Management coordinator),” Hubbard said. “CertainTeed has many acres of field south of Little Mountain. I’m surmising heavy rain washed it into the river.” To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.