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DEP To Monitor Contaminated Soil At Freedom Industries As Water Levels Rise

Reported: Feb. 4, 2014 5:45 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 5, 2014 12:57 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Bob Aaron) -- Overnight rain is not expected to cause major flooding problems, but it could potentially raise the level of the Elk River high enough so that it comes in contact with contaminated soil at Freedom Industries.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said it may be close.

The river was already high from recent rains, although it dropped some late Tuesday. The Freedom Industries tanks are well out of any conceivable flooding danger, but the polluted soil where two chemicals poured into the river Jan. 9 is close to the Elk. It is expected to rise several feet from rain's Tuesday night and early Wednesday along with snow melt.

Those chemicals disrupted water service to 300,000 people. Surprisingly, West Virginia American Water Co. has not committed to closing its water intake in the event the soil site is flooded.

A National Weather Service hydrologist said because the point where the river is measured is about 20 miles upstream, the rise will not be as great at Freedom Industries. The DEP will monitor the situation. There is also concern about booms in the river.



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