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Sat Jun 14, 2014, 07:41 AM

Company That Caused Historic Chemical Spill Leaks More Waste Into West Virginia Waters

Poor West Virginia - just CANNOT catch a break from corporate environmental polluters.
God only knows how long this overflow was happening. One doubts that state DEP inspectors checked this site on a daily or even a weekly basis. The company respsonsible has claimed bankruptcy protection so is immune from further lawsuits - and most probably has cut their expenses by neglecting maintenance of their equipment, like the failed pump! The spill wasn't "experienced" on Thursday. It was simply noticed for the first time on Thursday!

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/13/3448678/freedom-industries-spills-again/

The company responsible for letting 10,000 gallons of a mysterious chemical seep into West Virginia’s water this past January experienced another spill at its site on Thursday, this time from an overflowing trench of potentially contaminated stormwater, according to state officials.

Inspectors from the state Department of Environmental Protection noticed water overflowing into the Elk River from a containment trench at Freedom Industries’ site in Kanawha County on Thursday night at 5 p.m — the same site that leaked into the river in January, poisoning the drinking water supply for approximately 300,000 people. A sump pump that was supposed to send overflow to a storage tank had stopped working, inspectors said.

As of early Friday, the overflow had stopped, and a spokesperson for West Virginia American Water assured that initial tests showed no detection of crude MCHM, the mysterious coal-cleaning chemical that spilled at the site on Jan. 9. The chemical has a distinct licorice smell, but state DEP inspectors said there were no odors reported coming from the site. , but we were there. We smelled it clearly,” she tweeted.WOWK reporter Jessie Shafer, who visited the site in the hours after the spill, said otherwise.

“No odors reported at site today by public, but we were there. We smelled it clearly,” she tweeted.


http://www.wowktv.com/story/25767984/water-testing-underway-near-wva-site-of-spill

The new spill happened on the same day that West Virginia American Water announced that all 16 carbon filters at its water treatment plant had been replaced, showing no more trace amounts of crude MCHM lingering from the initial spill. Six months after the initial spill, many West Virginia residents were still not drinking their water for fear of continued contamination.

The company responsible for the contamination, Freedom Industries, is currently going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy spurred by the events of the January spill. The bankruptcy shielded it from lawsuits, and since then the company has been increasingly opaque — essentially only breaking its silence to revise spill numbers and admit that more than one chemical had actually spilled.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Company That Caused Historic Chemical Spill Leaks More Waste Into West Virginia Waters (Original post)
Divernan Jun 2014 OP
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #1
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #2
toddwv Jun 2014 #3
Jackpine Radical Jun 2014 #6
DeSwiss Jun 2014 #4
LynneSin Jun 2014 #5
Petrushka Jun 2014 #7
Divernan Jun 2014 #12
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #14
Petrushka Jun 2014 #20
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #13
Petrushka Jun 2014 #21
heaven05 Jun 2014 #8
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #15
packman Jun 2014 #9
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #16
packman Jun 2014 #19
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2014 #10
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #11
Viva_Daddy Jun 2014 #17
theHandpuppet Jun 2014 #18

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 08:18 AM

1. Thanks much for posting this.

I think some will also find this thread in Appalachian Group of interest:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1272244
"New Name, Same Game: How the system works for Freedom Industries"

I'll check the Charleston Gazette today to see if they've published any updates.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 08:26 AM

2. From the Charleston Gazette

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Freedom Industries MCHM site cleanup still on hold

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Demolition of chemical storage tanks at Freedom Industries — the site of the Jan. 9 chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water supply of 300,000 West Virginians — continues to be delayed as the company tries to get the necessary permits.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement Thursday saying the company is “anticipating it will take a couple of weeks” before demolition can begin, despite hope that the work would kick off this week.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the tanks to be torn down two weeks after the leak, but that was stalled by Freedom Industry’s bankruptcy proceedings. A bankruptcy judge must approve the company’s financial transactions, and “that approval was granted on Friday,” the DEP statement noted.

Six fiberglass tanks have been torn down and 13 tanks remain at the Etowah River Terminal site along the Elk River in Charleston. The DEP is supposed to monitor the demolition “to ensure all protocols are followed” during the projected month-long process, according to the statement. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140612/GZ01/140619729/1419#sthash.RihkL8Lp.dpuf

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 09:40 AM

3. It's OK!

They've declared bankruptcy so no executives will be financially harmed.

I know, I know, makes everyone feel good about this.

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Response to toddwv (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:06 AM

6. I like that.

"No corporate executives were harmed in the making of this catastrophe."

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 09:58 AM

4. K&R

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:04 AM

5. This is why Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania needs to GO!!

The rate he's going he's going to turn Pennsylvania into another West Virginia.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:12 AM

7. From TV station WSAZ

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025096594

UPDATE 6/13/14 @ 9:25 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Freedom Industries on Friday failed for a second straight day to prevent a stormwater collection trench overflow at the MCHM spill site along the Elk River, forcing the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) again to intervene, according to a news release from that agency.

“To have this happen twice in two days is outrageous and unacceptable," said DEP Secretary Randy Huffman in the release. "Freedom and its environmental consultant should have a system in place to handle heavy rainfall. If a better system is not implemented immediately, the DEP will take action to bring in a more responsible contractor to handle it."

Friday's overflow coincided with a heavy downpour of rain at around 5 p.m. The discharge lasted for approximately 50 minutes before being brought under control through increased pumping.

West Virginia American Water crews tested water samples twice Friday evening, company spokeswoman Laura Jordan said. As of 9 p.m. Friday, both of those tests had come back with non-detect levels of the chemical MCHM.

Jordan said the company will conduct more tests overnight and hopes to release those results early Saturday morning.

< snip >


http://www.wsaz.com/news/wvnews/headlines/Inspectors-Report-Small-Spill-at-Freedom-Industries-262974791.html
0

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:26 PM

12. System failed twice in two days- that's way past outrageous!

And don't you love (sarcasm) that it's called "Freedom" Industries. That would be freedom from meaningful regulations, punitive fines or social conscience. In the can't-we-all-just-forget-about it-cause-that's-in-the-past-now tradition of corporations (and politicians) who have fucked over the public, we can expect to see a name change - maybe Apple Pie Industries, or Liberty Inc.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:39 PM

14. Probably, but only because the word "Patriot" has been taken already...

... by the coal company that kills miners.

WHARTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two miners who were killed on the job Monday night worked in a coalfield that had so many safety problems federal officials deemed it a "pattern violator," a rare designation reserved for the industry's worst offenders.

Brody Mine No. 1 was one of only three mines last year to earn the label that regulators have put greater emphasis on since the 2010 Upper Big Branch explosion killed 29 miners about 10 miles away.

The designation subjects the mine to greater scrutiny from regulators, and it's the strongest tool the Mine Safety and Health Administration has, said Kevin Stricklin, the agency's administrator of coal mine safety and health.

"We just do not have the ability or authority to shut a mine just because it has so many violations," Stricklin told The Associated Press on Tuesday.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/13/brody-coal-mine-accident-wv_n_5315496.html

So if you own a company, you can get away with 253 serious violations in one year (at one mine!), kill miners, declare bankruptcy and start all over again, fresh as a daisy. Yea, capitalism!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 15, 2014, 05:06 AM

20. Excuses, excuses! MSHA might not have the authority to shut down such a mine . . . but . . .

. . . if I'm not mistaken, the federal Office of Surface Mining and the state DEP do have such authority under the Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act. The question is: Why doesn't MSHA get together with OSM and/or DEP and all of them take whatever legal and lawful measures are necessary to simply shut 'er down?

Yeah. Ri-i-ight!

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Response to Petrushka (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:29 PM

13. The company doesn't give a fig because they know nothing will happen to them

What a sorry joke this is. And Freedom has an "environmental consultant"? Whose brother-in-law got that job?

By the way, do you have any idea whether or not this proposed bill passed the house?

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140403/GZ01/140409738
The Charleston Gazette
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spurred by MCHM leak, Rockefeller, Manchin push national chemical-tank bill
By David Gutman, Staff writer - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140403/GZ01/140409738#sthash.CdA6ZKGw.dpuf

The Elk River chemical leak spurred state legislators to pass a law requiring inspection of chemical storage tanks in West Virginia. On Thursday, the state’s two U.S. senators moved a bit closer to passing similar legislation that would cover storage tanks across the country.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., would require states to set up an inspection program for above-ground chemical storage tanks like the one that leaked the coal-cleaning chemical Crude MCHM into the Elk River in January.

The bill passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday by a 16-2 vote, with two Republican senators voting no. It now heads to the full Senate. Were it to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate — where it would need 60 votes to advance — the bill would move to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where its prospects for passage seem slim. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has introduced a similar bill in the House that has not advanced.

Days after the leak was discovered, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said no new regulations are needed. (Of course he'd say that! )

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 16, 2014, 10:52 AM

21. Don't know if it passed . . . did a search . . . no results . . . need a Bill number. (eom)

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:24 AM

8. good to know about

but they have the capitalist 'golden ticket' that all corporations have. Money and access to power.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:44 PM

15. The people are only afforded the illusion they can win

Fact is, the game is rigged. Corporations own the house.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:25 AM

9. Damn, when is enough going to be enough

for these poor people - and I mean poor in the sense of suffering:



They need to grab their pitchforks , surround that plant and make a statement with some force to it.

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Response to packman (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:50 PM

16. Ever heard of the "Battle of Blair Mountain"?

The people of West Virginia learned long ago whose side the government is on and what happens to people who "grab their pitchforks".

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 07:37 PM

19. Union busting - Pure and simple

American bombers used against Americans, as I recall

"orders from the famous General Billy Mitchell, Army bombers from Maryland were also used for aerial surveillance, an early example of air power being used by the federal government against US citizens. One Martin bomber crashed on the return flight, killing the three members of the crew."

I grew up near that area in the 50's and there was still a hell of lot of anger left.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 10:39 AM

10. That company should be shut down and investigated by Outside Sources/Federal Investigators.

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Response to Tuesday Afternoon (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:17 PM

11. It should, but the system works in favor of the corporations

Check it out:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1272244
"New Name, Same Game: How the system works for Freedom Industries"

The people have no chance. The game is rigged.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:50 PM

17. We need a "Three strikes you're out" law for Corporations.

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Response to Viva_Daddy (Reply #17)

Sat Jun 14, 2014, 12:59 PM

18. Yeah but they know how to play the game

Just declare bankruptcy and set up a new corporation with a new name and run by the same executives. I'm sure this happens all the time and not just in West Virginia. It's a capitalist game and we're merely pawns.

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