Elk River Chemical Spill

Bankruptcy
11:53 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Judge Has Concerns Over Chemical Spill Company Sale

Credit AP

A bankruptcy judge is concerned that a company responsible for a West Virginia chemical spill wants to sell remaining property to a company tied to former executives.

Freedom Industries has filed a motion to sell chemicals and property at a leased secondary facility, Poca Blending in Nitro, to Lexycon LLC.

Lexycon President Kevin Skiles and independent consultant Dennis Farrell are former Freedom executives. Lexycon was formed in Florida in March.

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9:45 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Daily Show Features Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Chief, West Virginia Delegate

Dr. Rahul Gupta and Del. Cindy Frich appeared on Wednesday, May 7's episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Based simply on the titles of the segments from Wednesday's show, you can probably guess in which one they appear.
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Bankruptcy
4:17 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Freedom Industries Wants to Sell to Related Business

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The now-bankrupt company at the center of West Virginia's chemical spill wants to sell what's left at its other site to a company tied to former executives.

Freedom Industries filed court motions Monday seeking permission to sell chemicals and property in Nitro at Poca Blending, which Freedom leases. Lexycon LLC would be the buyer.      

Lexycon President Kevin Skiles and independent consultant Dennis Farrell are former Freedom executives. The company was formed in Florida in March.

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Chemical Spill
3:14 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Gov. Tomblin Announces Review of Elk River Spill Response

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has announced an “After Action Review” of the state’s  response to the January 9 Elk River chemical spill. 

The Review hopes to highlight the many ways in which state agencies, county and local emergency management offices, volunteer and charity organizations, the West Virginia National Guard, and other entities responded to the nine-county State of Emergency.

Tomblin’s office says the review will also address ways the state can improve its emergency response systems. 

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Chemical Spill
9:33 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Judge Allows Hurricane Landfill Probe to Proceed

The tanks at the Freedom Industries site where the January 9 spill took place.
Credit AP

A Putnam County judge has ordered a Hurricane landfill where wastewater from a Charleston chemical spill was dumped to produce documents sought by the city of Hurricane in its investigation.

Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers ruled Friday that Hurricane has a right to protect its citizens under the state home-rule law. The Charleston Gazette reports Stowers still must decide how much power the city has in the investigation it launched last month into the Disposal Services landfill owned by Waste Management.

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Chemical Safety
11:27 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Transparency is Key in Aboveground Tank Rulemaking, Expert Says

Evan Hansen, Downstream Strategies
Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

  The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced last week that they are seeking public input on what should be included in the rules to regulate aboveground storage tanks. The director of a Morgantown-based environmental consulting firm is hoping to be able to see who is submitting ideas, and what those ideas are.

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10:07 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Freedom Execs Tied to New Chemical Company

David Gutman of The Charleston Gazette reports that executives of soon-to-be-bankrupt Freedom Industries haven't abandoned the chemical industry. In fact, they've created a new company in Lexycon, LLC, which was founded in Florida in March and registered with the West Virginia Secretary of State's office about a month ago.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Freedom Industries, the company whose chemical leak contaminated the tap water of 300,000 West Virginians, will cease to exist once it goes through bankruptcy, but that doesn't mean its executives are out of the chemical business. Lexycon LLC, a chemical company whose characteristics are strikingly similar to Freedom Industries, registered as a business with the West Virginia secretary of state about a month ago.
West Virginia Morning
8:21 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Solutions for Ending Population Decline, DEP's Public Comment Process, & Richwood's Ramp Revival

With an expected population decline and negative stereotypes surrounding young people who choose to stay in the state, we hear a few proposed solutions for the issue. Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies talks about the Department of Environmental Protection's public comment period for above-ground storage tank regulation. Also, Richwood sees a revival with their annual Feast of the Ramson.

    

Chemical Spill
7:21 am
Thu May 1, 2014

EPA to Gauge Safety of Inhaling MCHM

Credit AP

  Months after a chemical spilled into 300,000 West Virginians' water source, federal officials want to determine at what level people can safely breathe the chemical's fumes.

Over the next few months, the Environmental Protection Agency will work on detecting crude MCHM in the air and creating a safety standard for inhaling it.

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Bankruptcy
1:20 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

W.Va. Spill Company: Fees 'Appear to be Large'

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The company at the center of West Virginia's chemical spill says costs of $1.9 million accumulated since the January leak "appear to be large," but are justified. Freedom Industries Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Welch wrote in bankruptcy filings that despite the price tag, the court should let Freedom make the payments through March 31 for contractors. The costs include environmental cleanup, legal fees, consulting and more.

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Elk River chemical spill
3:06 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Hospital Records Examined to Find Health Effects of MCHM

Credit wikimedia

A study of hospital records in the nine counties affected by the Elk River Chemical Spill show that 369 people sought treatment at emergency rooms for certain symptoms, but health officials are reluctant to point to MCHM as the cause of the illnesses.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Loretta Haddy said the most common symptoms where nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash and itching, headache, sore throat and cough.

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Chemical Spill
12:22 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Public Health Officals Outline Efforts Following Elk River Spill

Credit AP

With little known about the chemical compound MCHM, public health was—and remains—the focus of January’s spill of MCHM by Freedom Industries into the Elk River. Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department and other public health officials gathered Tuesday for an online presentation hosted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials to detail past and on-going efforts.

Gupta began his portion of the webinar to outline the timeline of the spill before moving on to data collected on the event. He said a recent survey shows that, while some residents were using the water to do laundry or for other purposes, many of those affected weren’t drinking the water at the beginning of March.

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CDC benchmark
3:27 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gupta Says Exposure Standard Needs Revised

Local health officer believes the CDC needs to adjust its chemical spill safe exposure benchmark.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by the January 9 spill at Freedom Industries, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

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Chemical Leak
8:00 am
Fri April 18, 2014

W.Va. Tourism Budget Doubling After Chemical Leak

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is expanding its tourism funding in hopes of offsetting negative publicity from the January chemical spill in the Elk River that spurred a water-use ban for days.

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9:46 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Are New Regulations Tough Enough to Prevent Another West Virginia Chemical Spill?

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Ashton Marra and The New Yorker's Evan Osnos spoke with Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour about January's Elk River chemical spill. Both Marra and Osnos field questions about whether or not the spill has changed the paradigm in relation to the politics of industry in the state and whether or not recently passed legislation will prevent a similar event in the future.
  • Source: Pbs
  • | Via: PBS NewsHour
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Chemical Leak
1:43 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

W.Va. Official: $2 Million in Chemical Spill Costs Reimbursable

A West Virginia homeland security official thinks responders for a Jan. 9 chemical spill into the water supply could receive $2 million in federal help.
 
Homeland security official Greg Myers says the estimate covers state and local agencies, and select nonprofits, like volunteer fire departments. He says the total could grow.
 

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Chemical Leak
4:35 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

WVAM Says MCHM Not Detected After Carbon Filters Changed

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

West Virginia American Water said new tests show no signs of MCHM from water filtered through two newly replaced carbon filters.

The company began changing out the 16 activated carbon filters in the Charleston plant on April 1.

In a release this Monday, WVAM said 16 water samples taken throughout the filtration process at that location returned non-detect levels of MCHM.

The results came from Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories, Inc. in Lancaster, Pa., which WVAM said is testing the water at the 0.38 parts per billion level.

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Chemical Spill
4:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Freedom Industries Submits Site Remediation Plan

This photo from the Chemical Safety Board shows the holes in the Freedom Industries tank that allowed the January 9 spill into the Elk River.
Credit @chemsafetyboard / Twitter

Freedom Industries has submitted its remediation plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to address environmental conditions at the company’s Charleston storage tank facility. The facility was the site of the Jan. 9 chemical spill of MCHM and PPH into the Elk River. 

The site remediation plan was developed by Civil & Environmental Consultants, a Pennsylvania-based firm also responsible for Freedom's tank decommissioning plan submitted to the DEP in March. It includes a summary of water quality sampling and remedial measures Freedom Industries has already implemented at the spill site.

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Chemical Leak
7:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Wastewater from Freedom Spill Sent to Ohio, North Carolina

Credit AP

Wastewater containing a chemical that spilled into the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians is heading to Ohio and North Carolina.
 
State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says Freedom Industries started sending wastewater to an Ohio underground injection control well site this week.
 
The material was vacuumed out of Freedom's tanks and the Elk River. Freedom was storing it at its Nitro facility.
 

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Federal Assistance
10:21 am
Fri April 11, 2014

FEMA OKs W.Va. Chemical Spill Request, Denies Another

Federal officials have approved a funding request by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin related to the January chemical spill in Charleston.
 
But Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate refused to consider the event a "major disaster."
 

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