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Fire marshal rules weekend Hazmat concern not a health risk

Warren County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico said Monday that a green substance discovered in Happy Creek behind Fantasyland Park in Front Royal has been identified as a car wax-type solution.

“Right now there is no immediate health risk associated with the leak, it’s no danger to the environment,” Maiatico said.

On Sunday, Warren County Fire and Rescue Services investigated the substance as a leaked hazardous material situation, said Fire Chief Richard Mabie. The department’s investigation was joined by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Emergency Management.

Officials were able to trace the substance back to the Circle K car wash at 525 N. Royal Ave., which Maiatico said has been “very cooperative” throughout the investigation. The company has temporarily shut down while the drains are cleaned and flushed and the exact cause of the leak is determined.

Preliminary investigations showed that the car wax-type solution leaked through a nearby storm drain and emptied into the creek. Maiatico said that Fantasyland Park visitors can expect to see residual traces of the green liquid in the water for the next few days as the clean-up crew flushes out the system.

“The biggest thing that we want to stress is that there is no immediate health risk associated with the leak. There is no environmental risk right now,” Maiatico said. “The biologists have cleared it and have verified that there has been no impact to any aquatic life in Happy Creek.”

No charges have been brought against Circle K, Maiatico said, and none will be brought against the company from the Fire Marshal’s Office in the future. He said his office has ruled out malicious intent, and is still investigating how the substance entered the storm water system.

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