CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Freedom Industries told the state DEP Monday it’s redone its calculations and now believes 10,000 gallons of Crude MCHM and PPH leaked from its 35,000 gallon storage tank along the Elk River in Charleston that touched off the nine-county water emergency.

The original estimate soon after the leak was detected on Jan. 9 was 2,000 to 5,000 gallons but then Freedom upped that amount to 7,500 gallons a few days later before Monday’s new number.

“We are not making any judgment about its (estimate) accuracy,” state DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said in a news release. “We felt it was important to provide to the public what the company has provided the WVDEP in writing. We are still reviewing the calculation and this is something that will be researched further during the course of this investigation.”

Huffman added it’s not known how much of the 10,000 gallons made it into the Elk River. Freedom said it has recovered 1,272 gallons of the blended chemicals in absorbent booms and other control devices.

DEP received the new information from Freedom in response to the agency’s order that the company provide the methodology in which it calculated how much of the chemicals had leaked.

There was Crude MCHM in three of the 17 tanks at the Freedom site. All of the material has been removed and transferred to the company’s Poca Blending site in Nitro. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered all 17 tanks at the Elk River site demolished beginning no later than March 15. Freedom has agreed not to appeal the order.

 

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Comments

  • Backwards

    How is this company not facing criminal charges for providing false reports to authorities? First they neglect to inform the regulatory authorities of the initial leak for an extended period of time, then misrepresent the danger of the chemical, and now misrepresent the amount of pollutant leaked into the water supply? Are these not crimes in this state? Someone needs to be accountable for this mess. The destruction of the tank farm is not a criminal penalty, neither is bankruptcy. Someone needs some time in jail.

    • Charleston

      +1

    • Maxeer

      $$$$ always why...just follow the money

      • Backwards

        Maxeer,

        I understand the financial factor of closing a plant like this and the impact it has on the people who work there, but this was a disaster that affected 300,000 people. If you as a private citizen released 10,000 gallons of pollutant into the water system, they would call you a domestic terrorist. I realize this company didn't "intend" to pollute the system so it obviously wasn't a terrorist act but is was surely criminal negligence and criminal noncompliance with regard to their accident reporting.

  • Veretax

    Hoppy, I'd like to hear you explore whether the Governor really has the power to tell a private company what it does on its own property, absent 'regulation' giving him that power.

    • tw eagle

      apparently the owners have a " tight" connection with the W Va government . . .
      probably a trade off for not allowing anyone or any entity to sue the company, owners, or board members . . . all of whom should have been transferring their assets to "family" members to hide them from seizure as soon as they became aware of the leak . . .
      jail & property seizure should be the future of those who had anything to do with the ownership , management , or operation of this enterprise . . . good luck

  • Tom P.

    In any scandal...political or otherwise...the initial statements made by the scoundrels are always lies.

  • Paul

    As much as the entrie water supply was affected, any fool knew the original "estimates" were way too low.

    2000? Oops, we meant 7500

    Only MCHM in the water? Oops, we meant PPH is in there too.

    7500 gallons? Oops, our bad again. We meant 10,000 gallons.

    Does ANYONE believe these criminals?? What's next to come out of their mouths? Anyone trusting this water supply right now is certifiable nutso.

  • Big Deal

    Sounds like the crooks are going for insurance money now. The more they lost, the more $$ they will get from insurance.

  • Frank / Moundsville

    What a criminal farce. Freedom Industries has lied. WV American Water has lied. WV DEP has lied. And our "crackerjack", dog racing, governor wants to destroy the evidence before a true investigation of the truth is even completed. SEND IN THE CLOWNS..............but don't drink the water.

  • Ron "from Morgantown"

    Freedom announces that Tommy Boy will be new CEO .

  • Fed Up

    I agree with u 100 percent BH..

  • BH

    More information being revealed, and yet there is a rush to dismantle the facility and destroy the evidence. Interesting.

  • Chase

    I bet management will try to pin the spill on a poor general labor employee trying to put food on the table for his family. Corporations and their manager puppets will get away with this spill.

    Just another Massey!

  • Jim N Charleston

    Do I hear 12,000? 12,500? 15,000?

    15,000 going once, twice, SOLD to the bankrupt Freedom Industries with 15,000 gallons and a dismantled tank farm.

    Look we all know the tank was full and is still leaking. It will be 20,000 gallons by next week.

    I'm Jim N PA
    L8

    • William

      Maybe all 35,000 leak from the tank!

  • Sliderule

    Big difference betweeen 2000 and 10000 gallons.