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Spill kills minnows, creates bubbles in Letcher County stream

State officials are investigating a spill that resulted in foamy bubbles piling up several feet high on a small creek at Jenkins, in Letcher County.

The spill was reported Tuesday, and an emergency-response team from the Division of Water went to the site, said spokeswoman Allison Fleck.

There is a concrete plant and an oil and gas drilling operation upstream from the site, but an inspector was not able to find the source of the spill, which is believed to be a detergent substance, Fleck said.

The inspector confirmed dead minnows in the creek after the spill, Fleck said.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources took samples of the material to test, Fleck said.

The spill was not a threat to drinking-water supplies in Jenkins. The city gets its water from a lake, local officials said.

Mark Kidd, who works with Headwaters Inc., a group based in Letcher County that works to promote water quality, said he and others have concerns about the spill, including whether other chemicals went into the water along with the detergent.

"It's presumably devastated the ecology of that stream," he said.

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