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
Process Slow For Picking Huntington Police Chief
News
Jul. 24, 2014 10:11 AM EDT
Huntington remains without a permanent police chief ...
Full News Story

Three Face Charges After Woman Claims She Was Robbed With Sawed-Off Shotgun
News
Jul. 24, 2014 10:30 AM EDT
Nitro police said three people have been arrested after ...
Full News Story

WV Capital Region Takes Aim At Heroin
News
Jul. 24, 2014 9:37 AM EDT
A task force aimed at combatting the rising heroin ...
Full News Story


News WV Plans Vigil Seeking Gaza Strip Peace
Jul. 24, 2014 9:34 AM EDT
News Man Arrested After Police Find Mobile Meth Lab
Jul. 24, 2014 10:24 AM EDT
News GM Issues Recalls For More Than 700,000 Vehicles
Jul. 24, 2014 8:57 AM EDT
News Push America Rolls Through Capital City
Jul. 24, 2014 8:59 AM EDT
News WV Healthy Kids Host Thursday Workshop
Jul. 24, 2014 8:19 AM EDT
News Heavy Rain Reported In Area Where Plane Disappeared
Jul. 24, 2014 9:10 AM EDT
News WV Man Sues GM Over Wife's Crash Death
Jul. 24, 2014 7:56 AM EDT
News Man Arrested, Accused Of Kicking Pregnant Girlfriend In Stomach
Jul. 24, 2014 8:46 AM EDT
News Class-Action Suit Filed Against Dirty Girl Mud Run Owners, After Refunds Refused
Jul. 24, 2014 9:15 AM EDT
News Man Charged After Police Say He Exposed Himself To Two Girls
Jul. 23, 2014 10:27 PM EDT
News Rescue Group Nursing Severely-Injured Cat Back To Health
Jul. 23, 2014 11:29 PM EDT
News Two Arrested, Two Sought In Connection With Gallia Break-Ins
Jul. 23, 2014 11:26 PM EDT
News Driver Killed In Braxton Motorcycle Crash
Jul. 23, 2014 11:30 PM EDT
News Police Say Two Arrested After Breaking Into Condemned Meth House
Jul. 24, 2014 8:31 AM EDT
News School Boards Discuss Sharing Services
Jul. 23, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
News Library Seeks Public's Input
Jul. 23, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
News Preparations Under Way For Girls Night Out
Jul. 23, 2014 9:46 PM EDT
News Crash Leads To I-79 Lane Closure, Man Injured
Jul. 23, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
News Federal Government Agrees To Test Chemical For Long-Term Effects
Jul. 23, 2014 6:47 PM EDT
News Fire Marshals Say Arson Believed Cause Of Church Fire
Jul. 23, 2014 6:50 PM EDT
News Man Charged With Firing Shots Near School Pleads Guilty
Jul. 23, 2014 10:44 PM EDT
News Bond Reduction Denied For Shoot-Out Suspect
Jul. 23, 2014 6:52 PM EDT
News Renovated Kroger Hosts Grand Opening
Jul. 24, 2014 8:06 AM EDT
News NPS Assesses Impact Of WV Attractions
Jul. 23, 2014 5:36 PM EDT
News Carper Calls On Tax Commissioner To Clarify Code On Misconduct Of Officers
Jul. 23, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
News Chemical Extraction At Westmoreland Park Could Take Longer Than Expected
Jul. 23, 2014 6:52 PM EDT
News Two Charged In Clay County Robbery, Beating
Jul. 23, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News Persons Of Interest Named In East End Shooting Investigation
Jul. 24, 2014 4:37 AM EDT
News Mobile Home Fire Reported On Victoria Road In Cross Lanes Area
Jul. 23, 2014 4:24 PM EDT
News Push America Rolls Through The River City
Jul. 23, 2014 6:53 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Process slow for picking Huntington police chief

Huntington remains without a permanent police chief four months after Skip Holbrook announced his resignation.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Demolition of Old Ledbetter Bridge underway

Crews have started taking apart by hand the Old Ledbetter Bridge in western Kentucky.
Full Story

Ohio News
Lab finds no risk from bacteria at Ohio bakery

An independent lab has found that bacteria discovered at a commercial bakery in northeast Ohio poses no risk to public health.
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.