WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said Thursday the storage tank facility owned by Freedom Industries in Charleston should be torn down.

Manchin said that would help restore confidence in the water system.

The following is Manchin’s full statement:

“After speaking to people directly affected by the spill, it is clear West Virginians are still very concerned about the quality of their water and the potential long-term effects of the water contamination. The first step to restoring confidence in our water system and ensuring West Virginians that their water is safe is to tear down Freedom Industry’s facility and completely remediate the site. We need to start from scratch. In addition, I will continue to work at the federal level to pass legislation that will fix the problems that allowed this disaster to happen in the first place.”


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  • Levelheaded

    Sounds like someone wants to buy the land cheap.

  • Jonus Grumby

    Hey Joe, perhaps you should have mentioned that when YOU were governor.

  • The bookmen


  • The bookmen

    Mr. Southern " TEAR DOWN THIS PLANT" !!


    Lets shut down EVERY job producing industry in this country, so we will ALL be dependent on the government. The issue was NOT that the plant was there, it was that no communication occurred, had the water company been notified, they could have shut down the intakes from the river, and an hour later the pollutant would have been down river and there would have been no hardship on ANYONE.

  • The bookmen

    Mr. Southern , " tear down this plant " !!

  • Aaron

    I'm curious as to why the tank leaked to begin with. I understand why the product went onto the river as the containment dike had a leak but what caused the storage tank leak in the first place.

    Could it have been a busted water main underneath the tank tha caused the tank leak? If that's the case doesn't that alleviate at least some of the responsibility from away Freedom.

    Granted there still responsible for their containment dike that I love the chemical into the Elk River but any claim of shoddy maintenance would be dismissed werecthat case.

    How about our leaders demand answers before making demands that may not be appropriate to make once the truth is known.

  • Barry Bledsoe

    Really? Tear it down? And this is based on what science? Do you crush your car when the battery dies? Just because there was some failure that caused a HUGE problem, doesn't mean that the baby needs to be thrown out with the bath water. I'm not saying that the tank doesn't need torn down. But Manchin shouldn't be making statements in the other direction either. Maybe a simple repair or modification would make this tank and property very usable and safe, to keep jobs. OR...maybe because of design and condition it does need torn down. But tearing down the business is not the way to restore confidence in the system.

    The way to restore confidence in the water system, and make the water safer for residents, is to move the intake, add backup intakes, build proper secondary protections, such as alarms, containment etc., and maybe many other actions that I am not aware of.

    I firmly believe that the safety of the residents is the #1 concern. Let's just make sure that the actions we take accomplish that goal.

  • Ed Wouldn't

    Um, yo, Joe. Where was this attitude when you were Governor?

  • wirerowe

    I think it is a good recommendation. After the remediation it should come down. Not as a symbolic effort but to remove all temptation to put something in the tanks after people forget about this tragedy. thank you Senator Manchin.

  • mountainsurfer

    King coal is killing your state.

  • Buckaroo

    All responsibility for damages and clean up should be on Freedom not the taxpayer. If anyone is interested in information from the company, Governor Tomblin should have WVSP go in and put cuffs on everybody from the Owner to the janitor and the answers would be spewing out like a leaky tank.

  • Wowbaggers

    An alternative to a second intake would be a backup reservoir with a protected watershed.

    It's a shame Summersville Dam is so far away as it was built to maintain water quality in the Kanawha at Charleston and has little current industrial activity upstream.

  • Woodchuck

    Just imagine if that was a coal mine with thousands of trapped miners. Joe would have never left and been on CNN every hour.

    But no it is a place he tried to sweep under the rug a few years ago.

    No show joe. Guess it is not an election year.

    Never trust the government.

  • wvajoker

    Spoken like a true WV democrat politician. Coal is King and we do not need laws to protect us. Coal will take care of the State. We do not need other industry. Our young people can work coal or leave.