"Locals clamored for information Saturday, asking state and local authorities what sort of chemicals spilled into the North Oconee River, which turned greenish-blue and began to give off fumes that irritated eyes and throats.
'I want an answer: Is it safe to be in my backyard?' said Carol Myers, whose University Heights home backs up to the North Oconee. 'And they don't know. I need someone with credibility to say, "This is what we are working on, and this is what we will know and when."'
State environmental officials began testing Trail Creek, a North Oconee tributary, after a chemical plant burned Wednesday. Firefighters poured an estimated 1.5 millions gallons of water onto the fire at J&J Chemical Co. off Olympic Drive, washing toxic chemicals such as methanol, para-dichlorobenzene, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde into the creek.
By Thursday, Trail Creek turned bright blue and foamy, but officials said the dye wasn't dangerous and would break down quickly."