The Washington Post

Arlington fish kill probed as a hazmat incident

Environmen­tal agency notes ‘chemical smell’ near storm drain

- BY DANA HEDGPETH

About 100 fish died Wednesday after an incident involving hazardous materials at a stream in Northern Virginia.

The incident happened at Four Mile Run between South Walter Reed Drive and South Taylor Street, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmen­tal Services. The exact cause was not immediatel­y clear, and the agency said in a Twitter message that the incident was under investigat­ion.

Peter Golkin, an agency spokesman, said initial findings showed that there was a “chemical smell” near a storm drain and that “would indicate that someone probably poured something not good down there.”

Dumping chemicals into a stream is illegal, and Golkin offered a reminder to the public that such activity harms wildlife and the environmen­t.

“There are no filters on storm drains, so anything that goes down will work its way into the watershed, into the streams, and ultimately can reach the Chesapeake Bay,” Golkin said.

No sections of the trails or park at Four Mile Run are closed, but authoritie­s said people and their pets should stay out of the water in that area. They also gave several tips about stream safety.

Golkin said there is no cleanup plan and that rain is typically the best way to deal with a spill because it “pushes and dissipates whatever was dumped.”

Four Mile Run is one of the largest streams in Arlington and covers a roughly nine-mile stretch.

 ?? Arlington County DEPARTMENT of Environmen­tal SERVICES ?? One of the fish found at Four Mile Run in Arlington County. Officials reminded people that dumping chemicals into a stream is both illegal and harmful to the environmen­t.
Arlington County DEPARTMENT of Environmen­tal SERVICES One of the fish found at Four Mile Run in Arlington County. Officials reminded people that dumping chemicals into a stream is both illegal and harmful to the environmen­t.

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