The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

January 25, 2014

Tomblin orders Freedom Industries to dismantle all tanks at site

CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered Freedom Industries to begin, by March 15, 2014, the process of dismantling, removing and properly disposing of all of its above ground storage tanks, as well as associated piping and machinery, at its Etowah River Terminal in Charleston.

Gov. Tomblin's directive is included in Consent Order 8034 issued Friday by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) and signed by Freedom Industries.  Gov. Tomblin and Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman began discussing the need to dismantle the tanks on Jan. 10, 2014.

The Etowah River Terminal, located on the Elk River, is the site of a Jan. 9 chemical spill that leaked Crude MCHM from a storage tank into the Elk and shut down the drinking water supply for nearly 300,000 West Virginia residents.

The facility currently has 17 tanks, including three tanks that contained Crude MCHM. The tank that leaked and caused the resulting spill also contained the chemical PPH.  All three of those tanks are now empty. Materials in the remaining 14 tanks include Calcium Chloride and Glycerin. All 17 tanks are located within inadequate secondary containment areas that allowed materials to spill into the Elk River.

Gov. Tomblin is ordering Freedom Industries, on or before March 15, 2014, to remove all materials from the remaining 14 tanks at the Elk River facility and store the material off-site in an area which provides adequate secondary containment. The company also must provide the WVDEP with reports detailing the disposition of the materials removed from the tanks.

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