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Stern Reactions To Freedom Industries' Revelation That PPH Was Also In Failed Storage Tank

Reported: Jan. 22, 2014 6:06 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 23, 2014 5:56 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) -- West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he is not happy that it took Freedom Industries 12 days to reveal that a chemical mixture called PPH was also in Freedom's storage tank which failed, sending thousands of gallons of MCHM into the Elk River and eventually into the West Virginia American Water Company system.

"Very disappointing," Tomblin said. "Very disappointing. You know, once again it's another one of those chemical that very few people knew anything about. When I first heard about it yesterday, the first thing we tried to do with my internal team is find out what is PPH? And then why it was not revealed?"

West Virginia's director of the Department of Environmental Protection said about 6 percent of the estimated 7,500 gallons that leaked into the river consisted of PPH. Safety sheets show the chemical can cause skin and eye irritation and is harmful if swallowed.

Randy Huffman said he is troubled it took so long for Freedom Industries President Gary Southern to reveal that PPH got into the water.

When asked whether he believes Southern and Freedom Industries had been truthful, Huffman said "it's really hard for me to call somebody a liar."

"I know that we've asked questions and we haven't had full revelations, some things have seemed to be elusive so we have a great deal of concern about that," Huffman said.

The DEP director said the agency will continue keeping a very close eye on the site cleanup, making sure Freedom Industries does what its supposed to do.



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