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Company Cleaning And Checking MCHM Tanks To Guard Against Disaster

Reported: Jan. 21, 2014 6:05 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 22, 2014 9:09 AM EST
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MARMET (Kennie Bass) - The smell of licorice is very strong at the American Chemical Services company in Marmet. That's because tanks containing MCHM have been emptied and are being cleaned and inspected to make sure they are safe.

SNF Holding bought American Chemical in late 2012, and spent last summer cleaning and inspecting 11 of the 14 tanks on site. The remaining three were scheduled to be serviced this summer, but in the wake of the Freedom Industries spill, managers decided to accelerate the process and take care of the MCHM tanks right now.

"When all of this transpired at Freedom Industries, we wanted to be sure that everything was good in our house," Lee Rogers with SNL Holding Company said. So, we got up here with our team. We're trying to get these tanks emptied and cleaned so we can get them inspected and certified."

Kanawha County emergency services received several calls about the licorice smell from nearby residents who were concerned. However, first responders say the odor, which is present while the chemical transferred into certified tanks, poses little threat

"The Chesapeake Fired Department chief went there the other night on a call and they were very cooperative with him, showed him around, showed him what was going on," C.W. Sigman with Kanawha County Homeland Security and Emergency Services said. "I know DEP has been kind of looking over it making sure everything is on the up and up."

Rogers says SNF Holding Company is making a significant investment in the Marmet facility. He says making sure chemicals are stored here safely and securely is a top priority.

"We don't want any risk," Rogers said. "We want to reduce the risk to the community, and to our own employees and to our customers. So, therefore we thought it was prudent to get in here and get it done and be sure the house is in order."

Rogers says all of the Hex-Meth has been transferred into recently cleaned and inspected tanks and that the certification process should be finished by the end of next week.



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