CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Environmental Protection hopes to begin dismantling the steel storage tanks at the Freedom Industries site in Charleston by June 1.

A DEP spokesperson said Friday the bankruptcy administrator working the Freedom bankruptcy case is reviewing bids from contractors.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the storage tanks removed not long after thousands of gallons of Crude MCHM spilled from one of the tanks into the Elk River. The Jan. 9 spill forced a Do Not Use water order from West Virginia American Water for customers in parts of nine counties.

The DEP said shipments of wastewater from the Freedom site are continuing to both North Carolina and Ohio wastewater treatment facilities. There is currently 756,000 gallons of the wastewater than came from stormwater runoff collected in trenches and pumped into tanks at the Freedom site. The DEP said the amount fluctuates depending on rain and the hauling schedule.

In a related matter, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Friday approved Freedom’s proposal to sell its Nitro-based Poca Blending to the company’s former executives. The sale price is $575,000. The site will now be owned by Lexycon LLC.

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