CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Department of Environmental Protection was expected to issue an order on Thursday morning detailing what officials with Freedom Industries must do at a Nitro storage facility to comply with state regulations.

After about 7,500 gallons of a coal processing chemical, crude MCHM, leaked into the Elk River last week from the Freedom Industries site in Charleston and made it into the water supply for an estimated 300,000 people, the DEP ordered Freedom to transport the rest of the chemical to another site.

(Read Poca Blending inspection report here.)

In response, several tanks worth were trucked to an industrial park in Nitro.

Following a site visit, the DEP cited Freedom Industries on Tuesday for violations in Nitro including failing to have back-up protection for chemical spills, the same failure that allowed the chemical to make it into the Elk River in Charleston on Jan. 9.  The Elk River is the water source for the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant.

On Wednesday, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a separate inspection at the Nitro facility in response to reports of possible problems with chemical storage at the site.

Officials with OSHA had already been looking at the Charleston storage site for Freedom Industries.

A week after the leak, an estimated 40,000 West Virginia homes and businesses still had not been cleared to resume regular tap water usage.  Parts of several counties were remained under a do-not-use water order from West Virginia American Water Company on Wednesday night.

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Comments

  • HOSA

    ANY CHEMICAL INTRODUCED TO THE MARKET SHOULD FIRST BE PROVEN SAFE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. LET’S FACE IT, THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IS IN WEST VIRGINIA BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS, SAFTY REGULATIONS AND WEST VIRGINIANS BEING BRAIWASHED BY THE CONSERVATIVE BILLIONAIRES KOCH BROTHERS WHO SPENT OVER 400 MILLION DOLLORS ON POLITICAL AD CAMPAINS TARGETING DEMOCRATS IN ORDER TO INFLUENCE POLITICIANS TO RE-WRITE BUSINESS REGULATIONS. I HOPE THAT FREEMDOM INDUSTRIES IS THE MAJOR CORPERATE COMPANY AND ARE NOT JUST PRETENDING TO BE A LOCAL WEST VIRGINIA COMPANY RUN BY KOCH INDUSTRIES. IT’ S SOMETHING THAT ON THE VERY SAME DAY THAT THE CHEMICAL SPILL OCCURRED THAT THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED HOUSE PASSED A BILL GUTTING HAZARDOUS WASTE REGULATIONS. I HOPE POLITICIANS WERE NOT PAID OFF TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY FOR CAMPAIGN CASH. I WONDER HOW DID OUR POLITICIANS VOTE ON THESE REGULATIONS ANYWAY. I HOPE JUSTICE IS SERVED.

    • a miss's stone

      screamin will get u no where

  • blugldmn

    Why does it always take something like this to happen for the government regulators & inspectors to get off their butt and do their jobs?

    The regulations & laws are in place to prevent this it's just that they were not enforced or adhered to by the same government that made them.

    Of course this does not absolve Freedom Industries of their responsibility in the matter.