Number of fish killed after Kentucky Truck Plant chemical leak g - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Number of fish killed after Kentucky Truck Plant chemical leak greater than initially thought

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Monday Kentucky Division of Water officials doubled the estimated number of dead fish tied to a chemical release at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

Investigators now believe between 600 and 700 fish died in Hite Creek and Harrod's Creek after coming in contact with water contaminated by Urea.

Urea is an ammonia-like substance that essentially sucks the oxygen out of the water. Officials said the fish -- including bass, minnows, sunfish, shad, suckers and mussels -- basically suffocated.

The chemical released from the Kentucky Truck Plant last Wednesday and flowed from the Metropolitan Sewer District's wastewater treatment facility at Hite Creek before flowing into the public water. 

Dual investigations have been launched, with MSD investigating Ford, confirming the chemical that leaked, how much of it leaked and why proper notification wasn't given. The Kentucky Division of Water is investigating MSD for why its wastewater treatment facility didn't catch the problem.

In the end, someone will face a fine and a violation for the degradation of Kentucky's water.

"We're looking at a fine of at least five figures, typically, in these types of cases," said Lanny Brannock, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection. "We look at a number of factors like culpability, impact and others, that would go into determining the fine. It's preliminary ... but assuming what we know now, the fine would probably be between $10,000 and $20,000."

The weekend's big storm has pushed most of the fish carcasses out of Harrod's Creek and into larger bodies of water, where they are expected to decompose naturally.

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