Water overflows containment at Freedom Industries site


The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has inspectors at the site of the Freedom Industries spill following the overflow of a storm water collection trench, which resulted in a small but undetermined amount of water spilling into the Elk River.

A DEP inspector noticed water overflowing from a containment trench at the site of the Freedom Industries cleanup about 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 12. A sump pump in place to pump overflow to a storage tank at the site had stopped working, and the inspector restarted the pump, which stopped the overflow.

It isn’t yet clear if the water entering the river contained any amount of crude MCHM — the material spilled at the site on Jan. 9. Samples of the water are being taken from the trench, as well as at the intake at West Virginia American Water Company’s treatment plant and of the treated water. Those samples will be tested at multiple labs, with results expected by Friday morning.

Exact readings from the water involved in Thursday’s overflow are not immediately available.

There were no odors reported at the site on Thursday.

DEP inspectors remained at the Freedom site Thursday night. Inspectors have been at the site on a daily basis monitoring the cleanup work and the containment facilities, which is how Thursday’s incident was discovered.

Additional DEP personnel, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, West Virginia American Water Company and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials have been notified.


Kelley Gillenwater
304-926-0499, ext. 1331