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Test Results Show No MCHM In Water After Second Reported Leak At Freedom Industries Friday Evening

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron, Jeff Morris, Mamie Buoy
Reported: Jun. 12, 2014 11:02 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 14, 2014 11:46 AM EDT
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Freedom Investigation
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Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

We have an update on a second overflow of storm water at the Freedom Industries site Friday evening.

West Virginia American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan says overnight test results show no detection of MCHM in the water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant. The company completed six tests of both river water and water that had been treated at the facility several times throughout Friday night.

The second leak happened a day after a DEP inspector found water overflowing the trench and going into the Elk River during a routine walk through. The company received two violations for allowing discharge from an unpermitted outlet and for failure to comply with terms and conditions of a prior order to implement an approved sump management plan.

West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre released this statement, "Two back-to-back storm water overflows at the Freedom Industries site are completely unacceptable, and although water quality was not impacted, such events only serve to erode customer confidence in the water supply. On behalf of our customers, we urge those managing this site to improve their containment system and take additional steps to prevent such incidents."

In the news release, West Virginia American Water says when the DEP notified them of the second overflow Friday evening, they took immediate action to consult with the Bureau for Public Health and take necessary precautions to further protect and monitor water quality.








The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says another stormwater collection trench overflow Freedom Industries has been found.

In a press release sent to our newsroom, spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says the second overflow happened during the storms Friday at 5:00 p.m.. The leak lasted for about 50 minutes before crews were able to control it through increased pumping.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for more information.





Freedom Industries has been issued two notices of violations following the overflow of a stormwater collection trench meant to keep rainwater that has come into contact with potentially contaminated soil from entering the Elk River, state officials said.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation said in a news release that one of notices of violations is for allowing a discharge from an unpermitted outlet; the second is for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a prior order to implement an approved sump management plan.

On Thursday, a DEP inspector during a routine walk-through of the property observed water overflowing the trench and entering the Elk River. The DEP said an inspector immediately manually activated a pump in the trench’s sump to start pumping water from the trench into storage tanks on the site. This action stopped the overflow.

A sample was taken from the trench and additional samples were collected of West Virginia American Water’s raw and treated water from its Charleston water treatment plant, which is located about a mile and a half downstream of the Freedom site.

All of the raw and treated water samples, a total of 14 samples tested at two different labs, came back at non-detect levels for MCHM – the material that leaked from a tank on the property on Jan. 9. One of the labs was able to test down to 10 parts per billion (ppb) and the other to 2 ppb. The sample from the trench had a detectable level of the chemical, of 2.78 parts per million (ppm).




Test results found MCHM in the stormwater at a ditch on the Freedom Industries property, but there was no detection in the Elk River at the intake area for West Virginia American Water or in treated water that leaves the plant.

DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said results show about 2.8 parts per million of MCHM in a trench on the water plant's property, but not at the water plant itself. Gillenwater said having some MCHM in the trench is not surprising since it was designed to collect stormwater that comes into contact with contaminated soil. She said the DEP does not know h
how much could have escaped into the Elk River.

Research by WVTAP, the group doing water analysis following the Jan. 9 chemical spill, indicated the danger level for MCHM would be 120 parts per billion. The amount found in the ditch would be 23 times that level.

An overflow of a stormwater collection trench at the Freedom Industries site Thursday evening, prompted the testing. Laura Jordan, spokesman for West Virginia American Water, said a total of 14 tests have found no MCHM either at the water plant's intake or in treated water leaving the facility.




Testing overnight and Friday morning continued to reveal no detection of MCHM in the water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant.

An overflow of a storm water collection trench at the Freedom Industries site yesterday evening, prompted the testing. A total of six samples of raw (river) and treated water taken at the plant at different times before 10 p.m. were tested for MCHM overnight. All results show no detection.

West Virginia American Water took immediate action after being notified by the DEP of the spill. Additional samples will be taken and analyzed today and plant operators continue to constantly monitor water quality.




Initial test results show no detection of MCHM in water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant following an overflow of a storm water collection trench at the Freedom Industries.

Samples of river water and treated water taken at the plant show no detection.

Additional analyses are being performed right now.




Inspectors from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection were on hand at Freedom Industries’ Charleston site on Thursday, following the overflow of a storm water collection trench into the Elk River.

The DEP said the overflow resulted in a small, but undetermined amount of water spilling.

The DEP said an inspector noticed water overflowing the trench at the site at about 5 p.m.

The agency said it was unclear if the water contained any amount of crude MCHM, the chemical that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians in nine counties in January.



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