The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 15, 2014

Tank demolition starts at chemical spill site

CHARLESTON — Demolition has started on storage tanks at the site of a January chemical spill in Charleston that contaminated public drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians.

The Department of Environmental Protection says the demolition at the former Freedom Industries site on the Elk River should take two to four weeks unless there are major weather delays.

The DEP says a contractor started the process of cutting 10 steel tanks Tuesday afternoon. Four other tanks will be left on site to store stormwater runoff that comes into contact with potentially contaminated soil.

The company had delayed the teardown multiple times. One of the delays involved asbestos issues in tank gaskets and elsewhere.

The Jan. 9 spill of a coal-cleaning agent prompted water-use restrictions for West Virginia American Water customers in nine counties.

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