Coast Guard closes waterway on south branch of Chicago River

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan established a safety zone near the south branch of the Chicago River following an oil discharge from an unknown source, Oct. 26, 2017. Representatives from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago and the EPA were on site in an effort to determine the source of the discharge.

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan established a safety zone near the south branch of the Chicago River following an oil discharge from an unknown source, Oct. 26, 2017.

CHICAGO — The U.S. Coast Guard has closed off access to a waterway extending from the south branch of the Chicago River known as Bubbly Creek after a reported oil discharge, Thursday.

Representatives from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met at the site, Thursday, in response to a report of an oil discharge from an unknown source. The area, known as Bubbly Creek, runs south from the south branch of the Chicago River to Pershing Road, east of Ashland Avenue. A concentration of oil has also been identified on the south branch of the Chicago River between Ashland Avenue and Pulaski Road.

The EPA is the on-scene coordinator for the recovery and cleanup of the discharge and has deployed containment boom at the entrance to Bubbly Creek.

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone, closing this section of the waterway to all people and vessels. Entry into, transiting, mooring or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or a designated representative.

The safety zone will not affect the south branch of the Chicago River, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, or the associated turning basin.

Anyone observing additional oil should contact the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.

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