Tag Archive: Charleston


MOXNEWSd0tC0M MOXNEWSd0tC0M

 

Published on Jan 23, 2014

January 23, 2014 CNN http://MOXNews.com

 

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Company in West Virginia spill failed to disclose second chemical

 

Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:16pm EST

 

Freedom Industries is pictured in Charleston, West Virginia, January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lisa Hechesky

Freedom Industries is pictured in Charleston, West Virginia, January 10, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Lisa Hechesky

 

 

 

The company behind a chemical spill that left about 300,000 people in West Virginia without tap water failed to disclose a second chemical in the leak, state officials said on Wednesday.

The company, Freedom Industries, had previously said that only one chemical, crude MCHM, had spilled from one of its storage tanks into the Elk River at Charleston on January 9.

Freedom Industries told the state Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday that a second chemical, PPH, was in the above-ground tank despite an order immediately after the spill to disclose what was in it, the department said in a statement.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said he was “very disappointed” that it took Freedom Industries, a maker of specialty chemicals, 12 days to disclose the presence of PPH.

“You know, once again it’s another one of those chemicals that very few people knew anything about,” he told a news conference.

“When I first heard about it yesterday the first thing we tried to do with my internal team is find out, what is PPH? And then why it was not revealed.”

 

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Published time: January 17, 2014 20:53
Edited time: January 17, 2014 21:32
Freedom Industries on Barlow St on the banks of the Elk River is seen on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Freedom Industries on Barlow St on the banks of the Elk River is seen on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the methanol leak that contaminated the water supply in a West Virginia town, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a new report.

The company’s Board of Directors convened at a special meeting on Friday to file a voluntary petition for bankruptcy protection, according to WVNS-TV in West Virginia. Notes taken at the meeting obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicate that Freedom Industries estimates the company debt is currently at approximately $10 million, although the inevitable clean-up costs, lawsuits, and other fees incurred because of the spill will add to that burden.

Approximately 300,000 people throughout nine counties near Charleston, West Virginia have been under a “do not use” tap water order since January 9. The mandate was put in place because a coal-cleaning chemical, known as 4-methlycyclohexane methanol, seeped into the Elk River.

Known as 'buffalos', water tanks from Northern PA were arrive at a steady pace at West Virginia American Water on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

Known as ‘buffalos’, water tanks from Northern PA were arrive at a steady pace at West Virginia American Water on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia.(AFP Photo / Tom Hindman)

The bankruptcy document claimed that some sort of object appeared to have pierced an already-leaking storage tank, releasing so much of the chemical into the river that some witnesses said they saw it pooling in ditches along roadsides.

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  • More than 300,000 people haven’t had water to drink or wash in West Virginia since Thursday
  • Chemical company Freedom Industries are to blame for the spillage which has polluted the local water supply
  • Company president Gary Southern appeared before cameras on Friday evening to apologize but he failed to convince
  • He tried to cut short his press conference by complaining to reporters that he had had a long day
  • He foolishly drank from a bottle of water throughout the interview, despite the fact that his company was preventing others from that very luxury
  • When he turned his back to finish the interview, local reporter Kallie Cart demanded he come back because they weren’t finished
  • South Industries and their local PR agency parted ways on Sunday following the media relations disaster for the chemical company
  • It could be days before the residents of nine counties in W Virginia can drink or wash in the tap water again

By David Mccormack

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The CEO of the company at the center of a chemical leak in West Virginia that has left more than 300,000 people without drinking water for four days is facing mounting criticism following his arrogant display before the television cameras on Friday night.

Freedom Industries President Gary Southern sounded rude and aloof as he attempted to cut short his press conference in Charleston after complaining to reporters that he had had a long day.

To make matters worse Southern repeatedly swigged from a water of bottle, seemingly impervious to the fact that his company had disrupted water services in nine counties, depriving 300,000 people of tap water to drink or even wash themselves.

 

Thirsty work: Freedom Industries President Gary Southern repeatedly swigged from a water of bottle on Friday, seemingly impervious to the fact that his company had depriving 300,000 people of tap water to drink or even wash themselves

Thirsty work: Freedom Industries President Gary Southern repeatedly swigged from a water of bottle on Friday, seemingly impervious to the fact that his company had depriving 300,000 people of tap water to drink or even wash themselves

Beware: More than 300,000 people have been told to indefinitely avoid drinking or even touching tap water following Thursday's chemical spill in Charleston, West Virgina

Beware: More than 300,000 people have been told to indefinitely avoid drinking or even touching tap water following Thursday’s chemical spill in Charleston, West Virgina

During his abbreviated press conference, Southern issued an apology for the chemical spill, but he quickly turned terse when it came times for questions.

‘Look guys, it’s been an extremely long day. I’m having a lot of trouble talking at the moment. I’d appreciate it if we could wrap this thing up,’ he complained.

But before Southern could walk away, he was quickly interrupted by local news anchor/reporter Kallie Cart from WCHS8.

‘We actually have a lot of questions,’ said the persistent reporter. ‘It’s been a long day for a lot of people who don’t have water.’

Local news anchor/reporter Kallie Cart from WCHS8 has won plaudits for her dogged interview style

Local news anchor/reporter Kallie Cart from WCHS8 has won plaudits for her dogged interview style

 

When her line of questioning started to get a little awkward for Southern, he made another ill-judged attempt to wrap things up by saying ‘that’s all we have time for.’

Once again Cart was quick to stop Southern in his tracks.

‘We’re not done!’ she shouted as Southern turned his back on the cameras.

The look he gives her as he realizes that he is going to have to take another question is priceless.

Cart has received praise for her handling of the water crisis and for her dogged interview style on both Facebook and Twitter, while Southern’s ill-judged lack of compassion has been compared to Tony Hayward, the disgraced former boss of BP.

In the wake of Southern’s disastrous TV appearance, Freedom Industries’ local public relations firm Charleston Ryan Associates announced on Sunday that it has decided it will no longer represent the chemicals company, reports WCHS.

Video: Watch Gary Southern’s disastrous press conference

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RT America RT America

Published on Jan 10, 2014

Thousands of gallons of dangerous chemicals have been leaking from a facility managed by Freedom Industries in Charleston, West Virginia, and hundreds of thousands of people in the vicinity are being impacted as a result. The governor has declared a state of emergency in nine counties there, and federal agencies have since been dispatched to help make sense of the accident. RT’s Meghan Lopez reports live from West Virginia to weigh in on the status of the chemical leak hours after it was first discovered.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

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Examiner.com

Chemical leak threatens 100,000 in West Virginia

 

A family shops for bottled water at a supermarket, as many in West Virginia are doing after a chemical spill in the Elk River.

 

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency in several West Virginia counties Jan. 9, after a chemical leak contaminated the drinking water supply for about 100,000 in the Charleston area. West Virginia American Water was notified that a chemical used in coal mining had leaked into the Elk River upstream from its main water intake. The water supply feed all or parts of nine West Virginia counties.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that county officials began tracking a strong licorice smell early Thursday morning. It was traced to a facility owned by Freedom Industries, the Etowah River Terminal. A storage tank was leaking and the containment system around the tank failed to hold the chemical. It leaked into the Elk River, the source of drinking water for many West Virginians. The Daily Mail says that the leak was stopped about two hours after it was discovered.

 

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