WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


CSB Says Freedom industries Spill Was Preventable; Says Lack Of Inspections To Blame

Reported by: Send eMail Bob Aaron, Heath Harrison, Jeff Morris
Reported: Jul. 16, 2014 2:11 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 16, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Chemical Spill Investigation
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Wednesday that it looks like water seeping from holes in the roof of a tank loaded with crude MCHM caused the Freedom Industries spill which contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 West Virginians in January.

Officials for the agency said, as they released their preliminary findings on the spill, it now looks like at least one other tank leaked.

They are knocking down the tanks at freedom - tanks that CSB investigators said were never properly inspected. Now, federal investigators say holes in a storage tank floor likely allowed chemicals to seep out and contaminate the drinking water supply. Holes in the tank roof allowed the water to leak in, producing corrosion that then created the holes in the floor. The CSB found holes in the floor of the tank that held the spilled chemical, and they suspect the adjacent tank and perhaps others had holes in them

Pieces of the tank are undergoing metallurgical examination. The CSB said they couldn't find records of tank inspections before the January spill. It is unclear how often or rigorously, or even if, inspections occurred. The CSB chairman said self-policing does not work.

The spill spurred a don-not-use tap water order for 300,000 people for several days. The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. Its chairman called the spill a disaster of the highest magnitude that was preventable.

In a separate case, CSB investigators also found a New Cumberland plant lacked a safety system to collect combustible dust when a 2010 explosion killed three people.

The CSB said there have been 50 serious and sometimes deadly dust explosions since OSHA was first urged to impose dust rules.

The dust rules still have not been imposed.




The head of the Chemical Safety and Hazard and Investigation Board said Wednesday that a lack of inspections and hazard reviews is the root cause of the Jan. 9 spill that contaminated the water supply in nine counties.

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso's comments came at a public meeting in Charleston. The board said it could find no record of inspections at Freedom Industries’ chemical tanks at the scene of where the massive chemical spill occurred.

The CSB said the tanks had signs of pitting and metallurgical damage and that growing corrosion went unnoticed in tank 396 and leaked 10,000 gallons of MCHM. They found a similar hole in the floor of another Freedom Industries tank that held the spilled chemical.

Meanwhile, the board said the leak was caused by water seeping through holes in the tank roof.

Also at the public meeting, the board heard findings and recommendations from the CSB's investigation team into the Dec. 9, 2010, explosion and fire that occurred at AL Solutions located in New Cumberland, W.Va. An explosion ripped through the New Cumberland AL Solutions titanium plant, fatally injuring three workers. The workers were processing titanium powder, which is highly combustible, at the time of the explosion.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Police Say Woman Faces Domestic Battery Charge After Hitting Her 2-Year-Old
News
Aug. 27, 2014 10:17 PM EDT
A 21-year-old mother is facing domestic battery charges ...
Full News Story and Video

HPD SWAT Team Raids Apartment Complex, Two People Arrested
News
Aug. 27, 2014 9:41 PM EDT
Two people from Detroit are in a West Virginia jail ...
Full News Story

Hurricane Park Bridge to Be Replaced
News
Aug. 27, 2014 10:37 PM EDT
A popular park in Hurricane will soon get a much needed ...
Full News Story


News Dispatchers Say Man Stabbed Several Times In Huntington
Aug. 27, 2014 10:45 PM EDT
News HP Recalls More Than 5 Million Power Cords
Aug. 27, 2014 7:20 PM EDT
News Riverside High Cook Maintains Innocence Amid Theft Allegations
Aug. 27, 2014 9:29 PM EDT
News Senate, House Leaders Try To Delay Tank Bill Deadline
Aug. 27, 2014 6:58 PM EDT
News Police Say They Believe They Have A Suspect In Connection To Bus Bomb Threat; No Arrests Made
Aug. 27, 2014 6:27 PM EDT
News Cold Spot's Owner Reaches Out For Help In Wake Of Devastating Fire
Aug. 28, 2014 5:51 AM EDT
News Settlement Made With DuPont Over Toxic Releases
Aug. 27, 2014 6:55 PM EDT
News OktoberWest To Feature National Talent
Aug. 27, 2014 7:27 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Say Captured Suspects Were Trying To Start New Lives
Aug. 27, 2014 9:21 PM EDT
News Browns Wide Receiver Gordon Suspended For 2014 Season
Aug. 27, 2014 4:11 PM EDT
News Charges Filed After Man In Wheelchair Begging Along Highway Fatally Shot
Aug. 27, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Army Identifies Soldier Who Shot Self At Virginia Base
Aug. 27, 2014 1:30 PM EDT
News Burger King Hears From Customers About Possible Move To Canada
Aug. 27, 2014 1:26 PM EDT
News Ex-Mail Carrier Sentenced In Drug Case
Aug. 27, 2014 1:20 PM EDT
News MU Opens New Learning Center
Aug. 27, 2014 12:58 PM EDT
News Grant Money Helps Arts Throughout Mountain State
Aug. 27, 2014 12:39 PM EDT
News Trial Date For Kanawha County Prosecutor Uncertain
Aug. 27, 2014 6:40 PM EDT
News Pre-Paid Cards Being Used To Get Money From Victims
Aug. 27, 2014 12:34 PM EDT
News Military Says Jet That Crashed In Virginia Based In Massachusetts: Status Of Pilot Unknown
Aug. 27, 2014 6:21 PM EDT
News Police Say Suspect Wanted In Murder Could Be In Multiple Cities Throughout WV
Aug. 27, 2014 12:38 PM EDT
News Several Employees Arrested After Alleged Riverside High Thefts
Aug. 27, 2014 12:43 PM EDT
News Interstate 64 Reopens Following Accident
Aug. 27, 2014 9:25 AM EDT
News Wayne Road Repairs Affects Bus Routes
Aug. 26, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News Final Two Suspects Sought In Foodland Robbery Arrested
Aug. 27, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News National Health Groups Demanding Regulations On Booming E-Cig Industry
Aug. 26, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
News After Several Acts of Crime, Neighbors Hoping For Normalcy
Aug. 26, 2014 9:48 PM EDT
News New Upscale Housing Subdivision to Relieve Housing Stress in Hurricane
Aug. 26, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
News Charleston Mayor Calls For Second Review Of Gardner Case
Aug. 26, 2014 9:32 PM EDT
News School Bus Accident Reminds Drivers Of Dangerous Stretch On Route 35
Aug. 26, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News Former Logan County Teacher Arrested On Drug-Related Charges
Aug. 26, 2014 6:41 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Rocket launch from Wallops Island tests new tech

NASA is reviewing data from a rocket launch that tested a new sub-payload deployment method for suborbital rockets.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Outstanding prosecutors honored in Lexington

Kentucky's top prosecutors have been honored during a statewide conference in Lexington.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio officer cleared in shooting of teen

A prosecutor says a suburban Cincinnati police officer was justified when he fired his gun and wounded a 16-year-old alleged armed robber last spring.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.