CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state DEP hopes the dismantling of the first two above storage tanks on the Freedom Industries site in Charleston can begin by the end of next week.
DEP Chief of Homeland Security & Emergency Response Mike Dorsey told members of the state legislature’s Select Committee on Water Resources Friday the initial tanks to be removed did not contain MCHM. They are the largest tanks on the property and they have held glycerin.
Dorsey said removing the first two tanks will free up much needed space on the property along the Elk River that Dorsey believes will be needed to hold contaminated soil that’s currently underneath the three smaller MCHM tanks.
“I think we’re going to find that any contamination that remains is going to be on the north end and once we get those MCHM tanks out of there we should be able to address that,” Dorsey said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered a few days after the Jan. 9 chemical leak and water emergency occurred for the entire Freedom Industries’ tank farm removed. Dorsey said the delay in taking out the MCHM tanks has been mainly from plaintiffs’ lawyers who don’t want the tanks removed yet. Freedom’s bankruptcy proceedings are also playing a role in that delay.
Dorsey said most of what’s been happening at the Freedom site in recent weeks has been managing the water runoff. He told committee members an additional collection sump will be installed directly outside the containment area in case there are any spills when the three MCHM tanks are removed.
Dorsey also told the committee a Thursday afternoon MCHM spill at American Chemical Services in Marmet was handled correctly. He said the secondary containment caught the 10 gallon spill and it was cleaned up. He said the MCHM was scheduled to be disposed of Friday.