Safety Board Says Freedom Tanks Leaked MCHM Before Jan. 9 Discovery

"Citing 'extensive corrosion,' federal investigators said an MCHM chemical storage tank at the Freedom Industries site along the Elk River likely was leaking prior to the Jan. 9 spill that contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 people across the region.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigators said Wednesday they aren’t sure how long Tank 396 could have been leaking, or if material from it was contained in soil, or if additional chemicals from the tank made their way into the river prior to the day state inspectors discovered a spill while investigating a citizen complaint of a licorice-like odor in the area.

Johnnie Banks, the team leader on the CSB investigation of the Freedom spill, said agency officials are collecting soil samples and performing additional analysis that might help answer those questions."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette July 16, 2014.

Friday, July 18, 2014