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City, Feds Investigate Oily Sheen Floating Down Schuylkill River

What was the oily sheen floating down the Schuylkill River Wednesday?

That’s what NBC10 asked of city and federal officials after being alerted to the oily, rainbow-colored, mass visible from the Schuylkill River Path throughout the day Wednesday.

Photos hit social media starting Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon the sheen was visible from NBC10’s Comcast Tower camera as it floated past Locust Street.

NBC10 called Mayor Michael Nutter’s office as well as federal officials as we tried to figure out what caused the sheen.

After becoming alerted to the possible slick, mayor’s office spokesman Mark McDonald said that the city had alerted the United States Coast Guard of the event since it occurred in Coast Guard controlled waters below the Fairmount Dam. McDonald said the city’s Office of Emergency Management would also look into the event.

The Coast Guard confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that they would be sending a crew to investigate the event.

The Region 3 office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency also became aware of the oily-like slick and would be investigating, according to spokesman David Sternberg.

None of the agencies gave a timetable on when they might find out what caused the sheen and where it came from.

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