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State of Emergency Declared in West Virginia due to Chemical Spill

Posted by feww on January 10, 2014

300,000 People without water as 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol pollutes Elk River

Governor Tomblin has declared a State of Emergency for nine counties in West Virginia following a major spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used in the coal industry, along the Elk River in Charleston.

Tomblin has urged the residents NOT to use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing.

“West Virginians in the affected service areas are urged NOT to use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing. Right now, our priorities are our hospitals, nursing homes, and schools,” said Gov. Tomblin in a statement.

The State of Emergency Declaration is for Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties.  “This declaration follows a notice from West Virginia American Water Company that its water supply had become contaminated.  Residents served by Lincoln PSD, Queen Shoals PSD, Reamer PSD, City of Culloden PSD, and City of Hurricane PSD are also affected.” according to the WV State website.

A DEP spokesperson said the chemical was 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a “sudsing agent,”  which is used in the processing of coal.

Freedom Industries

The Chemical leak from Freedom Industries occurred upstream of the intake at the Kanawha Valley water treatment—the largest in West Virginia—and has resulted in a tap water ban for at least 100,000 homes and businesses, or about 300,000 people, said West Virginia American Water.

Freedom Industries describes itself as “a full service producer of specialty chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries.” The company was founded in 1986 in Charleston, WV, according to the company website.

etowah river terminal-
Freedom Industries Etowah River Terminal.  The terminal is a liquid bulk storage and distribution facility servicing the Port of Charleston, West Virginia. The terminal is located on the Elk River, 2.5 miles from the Kanawha River in Downtown Charleston. Etowah River Terminal operates 13 bulk tanks with a total liquid storage capacity of 4,000,000 gallons. Source: http://www.freedom-industries.com/

The company says it is a “leading producer of freeze conditioning agents, dust control palliatives, flotation reagents, water treatment polymers and other specialty chemicals.”

State of Emergency in West Virginia

01-10-14 @ 12:48AM

The White House has approved Gov. Tomblin’s request for a federal emergency declaration to assist with the situation in affected areas.

01-09-14 @ 9:32PM

GOVERNOR TOMBLIN DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN 9 COUNTIES
Water to be available through the county offices of emergency services

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin this evening issued a State of Emergency for Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam, and Roane counties.  This declaration follows a notice from West Virginia American Water Company that its water supply had become contaminated.  Residents served by Lincoln PSD, Queen Shoals PSD, Reamer PSD, City of Culloden PSD, and City of Hurricane PSD are also affected.

“West Virginians in the affected service areas are urged NOT to use tap water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing,” Gov. Tomblin said.  “Right now, our priorities are our hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.  I’ve been working with our National Guard and Office of Emergency Services in an effort to provide water and supplies through the county emergency services offices as quickly as possible.”

 

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