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DEP Issues Cease Operations Order To Freedom Industries

Reported: Jan. 10, 2014 4:12 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 4:26 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued a cease operations order to the company where a chemical leak occurred, prompting a massive water crisis in multiple counties.

On Thursday, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) leaked into the Elk River and got into the distribution system for West Virginia American Water. The water company issued a do-not-drink-water advisory to eight counties and a portion of a ninth as a result.

Under the DEP's order, Freedom must halt any further receipt of material to be stored within the faulty secondary containment and take all necessary measures to "contain, recover and remediate the material that has escaped the facility." The company also is ordered to immediately conduct an integrity test of all the above ground storage tanks and secondary containment structures.

The DEP also said its Division of Air Quality has issued a notice of violation to the company for causing statutory air pollution by discharging MCHM into the air.

DEP said in a news release that the release occurred about 1.5 miles upstream from the intake of the local public water supply.

Prior to resuming operations, Etowah River Terminal must provide a report for approval that documents the "integrity and soundness" of all storage and containment structures, the DEP said.



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