DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — Officials in Desoto County, Mississippi, say there are no signs of contamination to the drinking water following a toxic chemical spill over the weekend.
Saturday night, emergency officials responded to a fire at Shulz Xtruded Products in Hernando and discovered hydrofluoric acid had spilled into Mussacuna Creek. The chemical spill had residents and elected leaders concerned.
“I was worried about our citizens immediately. I am always worried about the people. That is my job,” said Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson.
Mayor Johnson said crews with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality immediately came up from Vicksburg to oversee the cleanup process.
A temporary dam was created in the creek to prevent the acid from flowing downstream. Mayor Johnson said by Sunday, the water tested fine.
”They say there is no danger to anybody in the city. Drinking water is fine, groundwater is fine, so now they are just waiting for cleanup at the site,” he said.
The mayor said the cleanup will last for several more days. He also said MDEC told him they are satisfied with how the process is going so far.
“They tested them all the way down the ditch actually. So now that that is good, they are going to continue doing air quality monitoring and air monitoring to make sure they haven’t missed something,” Mayor Johnson said.
The mayor said no one was hurt, but they made sure members of the fire department, who were on the scene fighting the fire, were checked out.
“When they found out about that, everybody went and got decontaminated, did the showers. Everybody seems to be fine, didn’t seem to be anything. We probably have some gear that we are going to have to get rid of if the boots were walking around in that they will probably start deteriorating, so we will probably have to replace some gear,” Johnson said.
Johnson said they will continue to keep an eye on the creek and wildlife in the area. He also said Shulz Xtruded is covering all the costs related to the cleanup, so taxpayers won’t have to pay a dime.