Skip to comments.Cease Operations Order Issued to Freedom Industries (West Virginia Chemical Spill)
Posted on 01/10/2014 8:15:52 PM PST by Morgana
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protections Division of Water and Waste Management has issued a Cease Operations Order to Freedom Industries in connection with the companys leak of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol into the Elk River.
Also, the WVDEPs Division of Air Quality has issued a Notice of Violation to Freedom Industries for causing statutory air pollution by discharging MCHM into the air.
According to a press release, the Division of Air Quality initiated an investigation Thursday morning following citizen complaints of objectionable odors near and downriver from the plant.
At 11:10 a.m. Thursday, DAQ personnel discovered the source of these odors was from a leaking Crude MCHM tank, and that no spill containment measures had been initiated. The crew also observed that an accumulated pool of MCHM was seeping through a containment dike.
The agency says the release occurred approximately 1.5 miles upstream from the intake of the local public water supply and the spilled material has caused conditions not allowable in the Elk River by creating odors in the vicinity of state waters, by requiring an unreasonable degree of treatment for the production of potable water, and by creating a sheen on the surface of the water.
As part of the DWWM order, Freedom Industries must Cease and Desist any further receipt of material to be stored within the faulty secondary containment and take all necessary measures to contain, recover and remediate the material that has escaped the facility.
The facility is also ordered to immediately conduct an integrity test of all the above ground storage tanks and secondary containment structures for the entire facility.
Prior to resuming operations, the company must provide documentation on the integrity and soundness of all storage and containment structures.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsaz.com ...
Strike one coal mine. EPA party on.
You are not kidding. The dems will really go after coal now. This whole thing is fishy, they had time to stop the intake from the Elk River but did not. I last heard 10 people now in the hospital. Pay attention to this the war on coal is on I just hope West Virginians don’t get a tree huggy after this.
TOOK them long enough!!!
But seriously, this is a warning to everyone: have at least 50 gallons of stored potable water in your house. You never know what the reason might be, but you might not be able to drink the water in your plumbing for some reason. Having stored water, and even a filter so you can use surface or rain water safely, can protect your family.
Actually this is a chemical plant. Not a coal mine. Located on the banks of the Elk River probably less than a mile up stream of the municipal water plant intake located on the Kanawha River.
I fish the Kanawha and New River and I’ll just tell you. If the EPA is concerned with “odors in the vicinity of state waters”, and “unreasonable degree of treatment for the production of potable water”, they need to look no further than all the municipal sewage plants lining all rivers in the state. Discharges by the National Park Service at Grandview Sand Bar and National Park Service at Army Camp. Both located on the New River up stream of the water plant intake involved in this article. Municipalities have long been the largest polluters of our rivers and streams. And they have get out of jail free cards. I will never drink or cook with municipal water taken from surface sources. Don’t like showering with it but work makes me travel a lot so . . . what choice have I? Don’t drink water from surface sources folks. You’re drinking piss.
“Actually this is a chemical plant. Not a coal mine.”
Didn’t know that, thank you. Still...it could force coal mines in the area to obtain their chemical from more distant sources, increasing their costs, one would think. And, for sure, now there will be a new chemical villain bound to undergo heightened EPA scrutiny x 10. We both know that if there is a new angle and “lesson learned” from this example that the EPA can use in their war on coal, it will be used.
Initial local reports Friday AM (I’m in Huntington) blamed a coal mine. The story has changed serveral times so far and I still find it lacking, none of the reports mention FEMA. But, FEMA moved in within hours of the first reports with water trucks and are as far down river as Milton as of this afternoon. It all happened too quickly imho, I’ll be drinking from my own stash - I don’t want no FEMA water.
Since October, the tin-foil hat forums have been predicting a major FEMA “event” in District 9 for the new year. Whether this is legit or a planned “event”, FEMA moved in way too fast considering they are usually a week late even when they see a major hurricane coming (e.g. Katrina). How they got water trucks spread from Charleston to Milton this quickly is curious.
Was there no containment surrounding these tanks ?
From news pix, it doesn’t look like it.
If I owned a bulk liquids facility of any kind on a lake or river, I’d make it job 1.
I used to work in the chem industry. I cannot imagine a safety data sheet reading like this!!! You couldn't put distilled water in a 2 ounce bottle and take it into a customer facility with out all kinds if tox tests, LD50's, etc. And a frothing agent is sold in bulk quantities and is not an "unusual" chemical for coal...used very often. So something is darned fishy here! Either this stuff is known as harmless and the EPA is using it to help shut down the coal industry...OR...somebody I charge if the MSDS totally screwed up at OSHA either because of stupidity or complicity. I wouldn't rule out either.
“4-methylcyclohexane methanol is not toxic, much less carcinogenic.
4-methylcyclohexane methanol, was not toxic, according to those with the DEP. The DEP has what they call an objectionable level, it means its uncomfortable, it would not be pleasant at a certain odor threshold or a certain parts per million and it did reach that, said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha Countys fire coordinator.”
As usual there is a tsunami of incorrect information here, add on dem/lib “Sky is Falling” and an opening to poke the coal industry and a small conservative company.
I have been to the “plant”, which not anything more than a barge to truck transfer facility. The chemical storage does have spill containment, but as with any “spill containment” it could not contain a whole tank full.
Have not talked with them regarding this incident, but in all likelihood the leak occurred during transfer from barge to land tanks or from storage tank to truck. The quantity probably was not massive before plant personnel shut it down.
These are good hard working conservative folks who have carved out a niche market supplying essential products.
There are two MSDS posted on the Huntington News site along with links to some other info:
This one is the MSDS that no data available: 4-Methyl-1-cyclohexanemethanol
This one, is more recent( Revision Date 2012-03-05) and complies with the newer MSDS standard and format including the pictograms. Methylcyclohexane
FWIW and in disclosure, I am not a chemist nor do I work in the chemical industry but I do work for a manufacturer with a very robust safety program which includes monthly safety training for everyone in the company, even for us morons in HR/PR : ), . We recently had two mandatory training classes on the new MSDSs. Not to say that makes me at all qualified to assess the danger or toxicity of this chemical or any other but I agree that the first MSDS seems to be outdated and I have never seen one with so much information labeled not available or not in our database.
>>As usual there is a tsunami of incorrect information here, add on dem/lib Sky is Falling<<
Reminds me of the time I had to go out to a train wreck scene. They were ready to evacuate part of the town because a hopper car full of polyethylene had split open. Yet, they were going to use an acetylene torch to cut the coupler between a boxcar full of 155 mm artillery shells and a tank car full of flammable liquid!
I told them they could start cutting AFTER they gave me 30 minutes head start out of town.
That would have made the news!
I figure it was most likely sabotage. A way to get the citizens angry at the coal industry so they can put them out of business.
With this current lawless regime. Anything is possible for them to use to get their way. This is a nudge.
The chemical spilled is used to clean coal.
Quit freaking out. I am sure the containment levies were sufficient to contain the tank contents, containment levies never look big enough to me, but as my Old Grand Dad used to say “the human eye is the worst caliper”.
This company has processed millions or gallons of this product for 20+ years. They were not lackadaisical with spill prevention, sometimes accidents happen that could have only been prevented by not being in the business.
This particular product is not hazardous, it smells and a little will indeed make a sheen on the water, but as another poster familiar with the area said this river was basically a sewer before this occurred. Who knows, this spill might actually improve this river’s water.
Freaked out not I...