Dave Mistich Published

The Final Moments of Freedom Industries' Tank 396


The storage tank that was the source of a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 West Virginians on January 9 has been demolished. Tank 396, which housed the coal-scrubbing compound MCHM, was demolished Tuesday afternoon. Contractors began demolition of the tank farm on July 15.

Volunteer video producer Mike Youngren sent us this video.


The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection approved a stormwater management plan for the demolition process on Monday, July 14, just one day before the demolition of the site began. As we previously reported, that plan included:

  • Freedom Industries contractors will place liners over the footprint of the tanks to prevent stormwater from unintentionally entering the ground.
  • Contractors will also halt the demolition process if more than two inches of rain falls within a six-hour period.
  • Dismantled materials will be stored within the containment wall at the site before being loaded and hauled away in roll off containers or on a truck.