“ Westfield - First responders are on the scene of a chemical spill underneath the Great River Bridge that is dumping an unknown blue liquid into the Westfield River.
Officials are trying to determine where the chemical is coming from, what it is, and whether it constitutes a hazard to health or the environment.
Police were alerted at about 3 p.m. by officials with Appalachian Press, a printing shop on the north side of the river off Railroad Avenue, who spotted hundreds of gallons of an unknown substances pouring out a culvert underneath the bridge and down an embankment and into the river.
Fire Chief Mary Regan said the spill involved “a substantial amount” of the unknown chemical.
She said officials do not believe it is from the print shop, but are now trying to determined where it originated. Firefighters are canvassing businesses along North Elm Street up to Union Street, she said.
The fire department has set up a string of baffles on the river to contain the chemical from going down stream. A command post has also been set up in the area as officials try to determine what the chemical is, and how to safely proceed with a cleanup.
On scene in addition to Westfield police and fire are the state Department of Environmental Protection, the state Hazardous Materials Team, and the Western Massachusetts District Four Hazardous Materials Unit. “