New Site, Same Issues for WV Spill Company

Thursday, January 16, 2014 @ 06:01 PM gHale

Freedom Industries, the same company whose spill contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians, is facing citations for violations at a second facility where it’s storing chemicals.

Inspectors found five violations Monday at a Nitro, WV, site where Freedom Industries moved its coal-cleaning chemicals after Thursday’s spill, said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman Tom Aluise.

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Inspectors found that, like the Charleston facility where the leak originated, the Nitro site lacked appropriate secondary containment. In Charleston, a porous containment wall allowed the chemical to ooze into the Elk River.

Aluise said Wednesday the state might force Freedom to relocate the material again. The Nitro facility isn’t near a river or water supply.

Other violations include failing to follow stormwater and groundwater guidelines, not filing monitoring reports and not properly storing drums with potential contaminants.

West Virginia’s water woes began Thursday when thousands of gallons of a licorice-smelling chemical used to process coal leaked into the Elk River, prompting the West Virginia American Water Company to issue a “do not use” order.

The chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries, overran a containment area and went into the Elk River earlier Thursday.



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