Freedom to staff site of spill around clock - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Freedom to staff site of spill around clock

Posted: Updated:
  • GovernmentGovernmentMore>>

  • National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    National Preparedness Month encourages residents to plan response to weather, other emergencies

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:26 AM EDT2014-09-02 14:26:18 GMT
    National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
    The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is participating in National Preparedness Month, now in its 11th year. National Preparedness Month, celebrated each September, is a nationwide program hosted by the Ready Campaign to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies. 
  • UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    UPDATE: Two appointments made to commission tasked with studying chemical spill bill

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:43:38 GMT
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
    Senate Bill 373, a bill drafted in response to the Jan. 9 chemical leak, establishes a commission to do studies and report back to the Legislature. Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, made the first appointment to that board on Aug. 29. Kessler appointed Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department.
  • Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Treating toxic water may cost New Castle, Delaware $1M

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:09 AM EDT2014-09-02 11:09:22 GMT
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.
    Officials have focused on the longtime use of fire-fighting foams at the nearby Delaware Air National Guard Base at New Castle Airport. Those foams contain perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, which are an emerging health concern for drinking water supplies nationwide.
CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -

The company that spilled chemicals into West Virginia's largest water supply in January will staff the site around the clock to prevent further discharges during cleanup.

After spilling stormwater into the Elk River twice last week, Freedom Industries told the state Department of Environmental Protection it would keep contractors at its Charleston site 24 hours a day. The company also plans to double its capacity to pump stormwater from the trench that spilled.

Regulators said the June 12 spill sent a small amount of water into the river. A 50-minute overflow occurred June 13 during a thunderstorm.

Initial violations include allowing a discharge from an unpermitted outlet and not implementing an approved sump management plan, per state orders.

"We clearly understand the importance of these issues and we are taking actions to address them," Freedom Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Welch wrote in a letter to state regulators Saturday.

The trench's job is to catch the chemical so it doesn't reach the river. In both spills, West Virginia American Water said it detected no traces of the chemical in treated and untreated water at its treatment plant.

Water company spokeswoman Laura Jordan told The Charleston Gazette in an email later June 14 that the company shut down its pumps that draw water into the treatment plant for three hours June 13 as a precaution. The company's 1,900-mile distribution system was unaffected.

State department spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said Freedom's corrective plans, which the state required Freedom to produce by June 14, seem to address immediate concerns. But the department will evaluate in the next few days if other steps need to be taken.

Department Secretary Randy Huffman said June 14 that regulators would bring in a more responsible contractor if the problem wasn't immediately addressed.

In news releases June 14, Huffman and West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre both called the weekend spills unacceptable.

The January chemical spill forced officials to order 300,000 people in nine counties to refrain from using their tap water for most uses for up to 10 days until the chemical was flushed out of the system.

The water company has since replaced each of its 16 filters.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.