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Freedom Industries Submits First Phase Of Tank Decommission Plan

Reported: Mar. 12, 2014 4:48 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 12, 2014 6:20 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Mamie Bouoy) -- Freedom Industries has submitted the first phase of the tank decommission plan for its Charleston facility, which was the site of a Jan. 9 chemical spill of MCHM into the Elk River that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release that it has approved the plan, which was prepared for the company by Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. of Export, Pa. The plan explains the order crews will take to dismantle the tanks, including the tank that leaked 10,000 gallons of MCHM and PPH into the river.

The plan also explains the safety precautions that will be used during the process.

On Jan. 24, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered Freedom Industries to begin the process of dismantling, removing and properly disposing of all its tanks, as well as associated piping and machinery by March 15.

Freedom Industries began the process of decommissioning and cleaning most of the tanks for demolition. The company also has conducted an asbestos survey and will begin a lead-based pain assessment in association with the storage tanks.

According to the plan, contractors will first remove the storage tanks on the north end of the property, near the tank that leaked. Workers have already cut a hole in one of the tanks and another will be cleaned and sandblasted by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

During the removal, the DEP said steps will be taken to control dust and other airborne emissions from the property and no on-site burning will be permitted.

MCHM odors will likely increase as construction intensifies at Freedom Industries, the DEP said.

Crews will also take steps to control the infiltration of stormwater on the site to minimize contact with other contaminated water. They will also use a liner to cover areas exposed during tank removal and take steps to prevent spills or releases into the ground or the Elk River.



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