Chemical at Ford plant in Avon Lake released into storm sewer, Lake Erie

AVON LAKE, Ohio-- As much as 5,000 gallons of a rust proofing material was released at the Ford Motor Company and into the storm sewer.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency learned of the leak at the plant on Miller Road in Avon Lake late Sunday. The chemical was stored in a 50,000-gallon tank. The EPA said a valve failure is to blame, but the leak was stopped.

The material, made up of deionized water and E-coat, traveled through the storm sewer and an unknown amount ended up in Lake Erie. According to the EPA, the substance appears to be contained in a little bay in the lake, thanks to north winds.

Three crews have vacuumed about 60,000 gallons of the rust proofing material and storm water. That liquid will go to Chemtron Corporation for disposal. The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. EPA are also at the scene.

The Ohio EPA said there are no known concerns with drinking water, and no known impacts to fish or wildlife.

Cleanup could take several days.