The aboveground storage tanks at the Freedom Industries chemical storage facility on the Elk River are scheduled to be removed after a leak from one of the tanks contaminated both the river and the water supply in Charleston, West Virginia. West Virginia’s Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a directive ordering the company to begin removing all 17 of the storage tanks and related equipment at the facility by March 15. The directive was part of a consent order which was also signed by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection as well as Freedom Industries’ president.
Freedom Industries recently increased its estimates for the total volume of the spill, stating that 10,000 gallons of chemicals leaked, up from its initial estimate of 7,500. So far 1,272 gallons have been recovered from the spill. The company also reported on Jan. 21 that a second chemical was spilled into the river in the Jan. 9 spill, though they did not inform the public at that time. The second chemical is PPH, a mixture of polyglycol ethers. Because the company considers its PPH blend to be proprietary, it has not made public the nature of its composition.