Associated Press Published

Governor Tomblin Orders Freedom Industries to Dismantle All Above-Ground Storage Tanks


  West Virginia’s governor has ordered the company at the center of a chemical spill that tainted the water supply for the state capital to begin the process of removing all above-ground storage tanks from the Charleston operation.

A statement released Saturday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office says Freedom Industries must start the dismantling process by March 15.

The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

The order to dismantle and properly dispose of the tanks also includes associated piping and machinery. The facility currently has 17 tanks.

The governor’s order was included in a consent order issued Friday by the state Department of Environmental Protection and signed by Freedom Industries. The company has already been ordered to remove almost 1 million gallons of chemicals from the plant.

The order is signed by Freedom Industries president Gary Southern and states that the company will not contest the state’s jurisdiction with regards to the order.

The Order is subject to a 30-day public comment period.  

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin called for similar action in a news release Friday.