Updated: WV DEP Reports Second Overflow at Freedom, Violations Issued for Both Incidents
Updated on Friday, June 13 at 11:12 p.m.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says Freedom Industries failed for a second straight day to prevent a stormwater collection trench overflow at the site along the Elk River. The incident follows a similar overflow of stormwater discovered Thursday.
The DEP says Friday’s discharge coincided with a heavy downpour of rain at around 5 p.m. and lasted nearly an hour before being brought under control through increased pumping.
“To have this happen twice in two days is outrageous and unacceptable," said DEP Secretary Randy Huffman in a news release issued Friday night.
Notices of Violation are being issued for Friday’s discharge as well. They will include a mandate that Freedom respond by noon Saturday with an outline of how the system will be redesigned to prevent future overflows.
"Freedom and its environmental consultant should have a system in place to handle heavy rainfall. If a better system is not implemented immediately, the DEP will take action to bring in a more responsible contractor to handle it,” said Huffman.
Two notices of violation were issued for Thursday’s incident. One for allowing a discharge from an unpermitted outlet and another for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of an order to implement an approved sump management plan.
West Virginia American Water, which has a drinking water intake a mile and a half downstream, has been notified and will be collecting samples of raw water coming into the plant intake as well as treated water. Initial results are expected late Friday night.
Testing of raw and treated water samples after Thursday's discharge came back at non-detectable levels.
Updated on Friday, June 13 at 4:50 p.m.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued two Notices of Violation Friday to Freedom Industries following the overflow of a stormwater collection trench meant to keep rainwater that has come into contact with potentially contaminated soil from entering the Elk River.
According to a news release issued Friday afternoon, one of the violations is for allowing a discharge from an unpermitted outlet. The second is for failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a prior order to implement an approved sump management plan.
Updated on Friday, June 13 at 11:40 a.m.
The DEP says in a news release that results from a second set of test samples on water analyzed following an overflow of stormwater at the Freedom Industries spill site into the Elk River have come back showing non-detectable levels of MCHM. These results follow earlier test results released by West Virginia American Water that also showed non-detectable levels of the material.
The news release says the latest results, which came from Research Environmental & Industrial Consultants Inc., also known as REIC Labs, were for four samples of raw water and four samples of treated water from West Virginia American Company’s Charleston plant, the intake for which is about a mile and a half downstream of the spill site.
The DEP says the samples were delivered to the Beaver lab last night and results came this morning. The testing was unable to detect MCHM at 2 parts per billion.
Updated on Friday, June 13 at 9:40 a.m.
In a news release, West Virginia American Water says overnight test results continue to show no detection of MCHM in water at the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant. A total of six samples of raw (river) and treated water taken at the plant at different times before 10 p.m. were tested for MCHM overnight. All results show no detection.
Updated on Friday, June 13 at 1:17 a.m.
West Virginia American Water says in a news release that initial tests of raw (river) and treated water at their facility show no traces of MCHM.
The water company announced Thursday they had just finished changing the last of carbon filters at the treatment plant after beginning the process on April 1. The filters were changed after testing by an independent research group known as WV TAP indicated the filters were leaching MCHM into the water supply.
The water company says additional test results will come overnight. They say staff members are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with the Bureau for Public Health and the DEP.
Original Post from Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 10:51 p.m.
According to a news release, a DEP inspector noticed water overflowing from a containment trench at the site of the Freedom Industries cleanup. The news release says a pump in place to handle overflow to a storage tank stopped working, and the inspector restarted the pump, which stopped the overflow.
The DEP says it isn’t yet clear if the water entering the river contained any amount of crude MCHM — the material spilled at the site back on January 9. Samples of the water are being collected from the trench. Additional samples are also being collected downstream at West Virginia American Water Company’s intake, as well as treated water. The DEP says 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.
The DEP says there were no odors reported at the site. However, local reporters who were on site say that's not true:
The DEP says additional agency 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.
A call late Thursday night to a DEP spokesperson was not immediately returned.