Ashton Marra Published

LISTEN: State Releases Freedom Industries' Spill Hotline Audio

Freedom Industries

The state Division of Homeland Security released audio Friday of Freedom Industries’ employee Bob Reynolds notifying the state spill hotline that a chemical was leaking at their Charleston location. The call was received at 12:05 p.m. on January 9.

Reynolds told the operator, identified later in the call only as Laverne, the Department of Environmental Protection was already on site.

“I heard about it about 15 minutes ago,” Reynolds told the operator when asked what time the leak occurred. The operator estimated the time to be about 11:40 a.m.

“All I can tell you is that they’ve discovered a hole in the tank and there’s material leaking out of the tank,” Reynolds said. “We’ve pumped as much out of the tank as we can so far and we’ve got a crew coming in to clean up the material in the dike.”

Reynolds described that material as MCHM.

“I think you probably want a real name for it,” he said.

“Uh, probably yea,” the operator responded.

“It’s crude methlycyclohexanemethanol,” Reynolds said.

“Uh, say again?” the operator responded. The two laughed.

Reynolds said he did not know how much of the chemical had leaked out of the tank and when asked if it was hazardous or toxic he replied, “No.”

“It’s right on the Elk River and right now the dike is containing the material so we don’t anticipate it going into the river,” Reynolds said.