CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Freedom Industries told the state environmental officials Wednesday night that only two chemicals were in the storage tank that leaked into the Elk River Jan. 9.

The Department of Environmental Protection ordered the response after Freedom Industries president Gary Southern revealed Tuesday the chemical PPH was in the tank along with the previously known crude MCHM. That information came 12 days after the leak sparked a water emergency for residents in nine counties.

MORE: Letter from Freedom Industries president Gary Southern here.

State DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said having the revelation this far into the water emergency was “completely unacceptable.”

“We have ordered Freedom to reveal any other information they have regarding the contents of the tank that leaked,” Huffman said. “Having to order them to provide such obvious information is indicative of the continued decline of their credibility.”

Southern sent a letter to the DEP by the 4 p.m. Wednesday deadline, explaining that PPH is added as an “extender” to crude MCHM, which is available only in limited, sporadic quantities.

Southern said the tank had 88.5 percent crude MCHM and 7.3 percent PPH.

West Virginia American Water Company officials also announced Wednesday afternoon that ongoing water sampling shows “non-detectable or extremely low levels of MCHM in water samples gathered systematically through the Kanawha Valley water distribution system.”



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  • wvangler

    The WV Legislature is testing us right now by weakening water quality standards to a vastly more harmful level for aquatic organisms at the behest of coal. Weakening water quality standards in the face of this is more than insulting. It's time for YOU, yes you reading this, to stop being defeatists and call them. Insist on cleaner water.

    You can call Papa Johns and order a pizza. Don't tell me you can't call your legislators and order up clean water.
    Go to that site, find your representatives. Enough is enough. Coal, gas, and chemical industries can operate profitably in West Virginia without such impacts on our water quality and our most important natural resource. Despite what the "war on coal" lemmings say, strong regulation can coexist with a profitable industry.

    • Gigi

      And the Governor's office is right there with the legislature. Protect industry while screwing the people. It doesn't matter how many chemical test results they show, the trust is gone.

  • WV FAN

    Come on, its a capitalist nation let the company's do what they need to do make money and shut up.
    It was a simple mistake... They said they were sorry... its not like they wanted to waist that expansive chemical in the water. "Move along here nothing to see these aren't the droids your looking for" (from the movie Star wars) it's the price you pay without checks & balances in place.
    (state inspectors should have been looking at the holding tanks with said chemicals in side) The world will never be a perfect place.

  • Clown

    OK, we are telling the truth now. We promise.


    I wonder if criminal charges are being planned , probably not.

  • Mushroom

    1st Chemical Leak Ever?
    I trow
    Anyone who contemplates on how much crap is dumped into the Elk River annually, and who has resided this water jurisdiction for any amount of time can only conclude that that have drank much worse than this. :-)

  • Harpers Ferry

    Maybe, one day, the mass sheep out there will understand that this was not an accident, but a planned operation by the New World Order. They plan on corralling all of us into concentration camps (cities) through means like inadequate drinking water or by force. Once all of us are in cities they can keep constant watch over our every move and do as they please in the uninhibited areas.

    • Jonus Grumby

      Wow. Your tin foil hat needs to be adjusted, doesn't it?

  • Larry

    Remember several years ago when we were supposed to call "French fries" "freedom fries", that would be a terrible idea today.

  • cutty77

    WOW thats a Scoop. You think that would of been done already. Sounds like Barney of Mayberry.

  • Harpers Ferry

    I don't know what all the fuss is about. Like my Pappy always said, " drink it, it will put hair on your chest."

    • GregG

      Lighten up, I've been effected by this and I too have to laugh about it to some degree. I'm guessing if you actually knew what you have drank and eat over the course of your life you would be the type of person to "lose it". Is the water situation bad? Yes. But I would say that this has been a "drop in the bucket" to what is actually being placed in our food and water compliments of big business and their free reign over this country.

      • wvangler

        Stop being defeatist and fight back. We don't have to allow this. Engage in the civics process and make a change. Apply relentless pressure on our elected officials. We all need to stop being defeatist that "it just is what it is, don't complain just drink the water. There's nothing we can do about it." That's Eeyore talk.

    • Smokey

      I agree with Harpers Ferry...It's not like you all haven't had worst.

    • Jason

      unfortunately, this will also make you glow in the dark.

  • The bookmen

    what he said

    • Hop'sHip

      Is this the bookman, just more of him?

      • The bookman

        Clearly not the bookman, just less of him!

  • Hop'sHip

    Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    This Freedom seems to err a lot.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." Janis Joplin

      • WVU 74

        Right on, Dude !!!