CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Calling Freedom Industries greedy and shameful, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones criticized the company’s response to a chemical contamination that impacted the city’s water supply.
Some 12 days after an above-ground tank at Freedom leaked at least 7,500 gallons of the chemical MCHM into the Elk River. Freedom Industries president Gary Southern claimed Tuesday he didn’t know the chemical PPH also had been mixed into the MCHM as an additive.
The chemicals flowed down the Elk into West Virginia American Water Company’s supply at the Kanawha treatment facility and then carried through the pipe system to 100,000 customers in a nine-county area.
Jones said Wednesday that Freedom doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing.
“I’m not sure they knew. I wonder if they knew,” Jones said. “I wonder if those renegades that are on that property know exactly what they have or they even care!”
Almost two weeks after the spill, many across the region are still afraid to drink the water.
Jones said Freedom seemed more interested in protecting their assets than the health of 300,000 people.
“I think (Freedom) is interested in one color and that’s green and to hell with the people that are affected by it,” he said.
Like MCHM, few studies have assessed the long-term effects of PPH. However, chemical experts said it is less toxic than MCHM.