Freedom Industries Didn’t Report West Virginia Spill


It was not the company responsible for the spill or the West Virginia American Water Company that discovered the leak of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), it was the EPA.

The state Department of Environmental Protection’s air-quality officials discovered the spill — which the company had not reported, the Charleston Gazette reported. “We’re confident that no more than 5,000 gallons escaped,” said department spokesman Tom Aluise. “A certain amount of that got into the river. Some of that was contained.”

But Freedom Industries President Gary Southern said the company is still trying to determine how much MCHM had been released. The steel tank holding the chemical has a capacity of 35,000 gallons.

Furthermore, according to Wired, no one really has any idea what they’re dealing with.

The owner of the storage facility, Freedom Industries, said that it had not yet determined how much of the compound had seeped into the river. And state regulators and water experts said, equally frankly, that they weren’t really sure what to expect from the spill. “This is the first I’ve heard of this chemical,” the director of the West Virginia Water Institute told Salon.

Freedom Industries has been ordered to cease operations until further notice, but the company should probably be more worried about the repercussions for forcing the closure of restaurants, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes in five counties.

  • D_C_Wilson

    So, who will be the first republican to apologize to Freedom Industries?

  • DesertSun59

    Freedom Industries is owned by Koch Industries.

  • trgahan

    Related story: a Federal judge denied BP’s request to weasel of the of the settlement the company developed to compensate those affected by their profit driven fuck up that led to the Deep Water Horizon spill (oh yeah, and 11 deaths).

    BP is claiming that those they already agreed to pay NOW need to prove their economic hardship was directly caused by the spill (kinda like the insurance industry selling hurricane insurance on the gulf coast residents then denying the majority of claims after Katrina).

    I am sure Freedom Industry will pay more in lawyer fees to get out of this mess (and any settlements) than to fix the damage they did…should a Republican get the White House in 2016 both will most likely be off the hook.

  • LTanya Spearman

    2010: WV Gov. Joe Manchin, sued the Obama admin. to over turn new federal rules on mountaintop removal mining (EPA)..

    Manchin on Federal Court’s EPA defeat, “A Great Day For West Virginia…”

    Socialist water being delivered in WV..

    Sen. J. Manchin — What say you today about the catastrophe in West Virginia ?

  • muselet

    Officials from Freedom, which makes chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries, said they were working with local and federal officials and are following “all necessary steps to fix the issue.”

    How very reassuring.


    • mrbrink

      One of the two original founders of Freedom Industries was some piece of work:

      In 2005, federal prosecutors charged Kennedy with failing to pay more than $200,000 in income taxes, according to reports at the time. In 1987, he pleaded guilty to selling between 10 and 12 ounces of cocaine, according to reports.

      Running a company that’s had lapses in their business license while operating a site with “13 bulk tanks and a total liquid storage capacity of 4 million gallons,” and “just a few feet from the Elk River?”

      By all means, let’s allow the complainers who think regulations are killing “jobs” and waging a war on coal to oversee the water supply. What could go wrong?

      Meanwhile, cops had to act as armed guards for Walmart to protect their water shipment just in case people tried to steal bottled water. Because the free market tells us that those who cannot afford the water should die of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol poisoning. Ugh.

      • muselet

        Always remember, killing jobs through regulations is an act of class warfare, a horror that will turn the US of A into a Third World nation; killing people is just a cost of doing business.