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DEP: Chemical Spill Not Dangerous to Community

TOWANDA TOWNSHIP — Cleanup wrapped up Thursday at the site of a chemical spill in Bradford County.

That chemical from a nearby factory seeped into the Susquehanna River.

Emergency response teams worked late into the night cleaning up a chemical spill that made its way into a portion of the Susquehanna River behind Global Tungsten and Powders, a manufacturing plant in Towanda Township.

The plant that grounds and then purifies tungsten which is used for lighting and energy applications lost power, which officials at the plant say caused a waste water storage tank to overflow.

“I think they should have their professionals on the spot taking care of everything they need to do,” said Laveda Gunther, Towanda.

The Department of Environmental Protection says about 100 gallons of naphtha, a kerosene based solvent made its way into storm drains and seeped into the Susquehanna River, but people who live nearby the spill should not be worried.

“Mistakes happen. The professionals have it in their hands,” said Gunther.

Global Tungsten and Powders Corporation told Newswatch 16 cleanup crews used absorbing pads to soak up the solvent, which floats.

Many of the people Newswatch 16 spoke with who live in town have also worked for GTP. They say they hope the business is doing all it can to keep the community safe.

“Nothing is perfect that gets in the river. I think we all try to prevent it,” said Ambrose Brennan of Towanda.

Brennan lives right up the street from the plant and worked at GTP for several years.

“When I worked there I think they did things on the safe side,” said Brennan.

The Department of Environmental Protection says the solvent was diluted so much that it is not a hazard to the surrounding community.

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