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Posts Tagged ‘hazchem’

If Anything Can Explode, Leak, Contaminate…

Posted by feww on January 12, 2014


Estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites across the U.S. can potentially explode, leak, contaminate the environment—FIRE-EARTH

United States is dotted with an estimated 100,000 HAZMAT storage sites containing one or more of deadly substances including radioactive, biohazardous, toxic, explosive, flammable, asphyxiating, corrosive, oxidizing, pathogenic, or allergenic materials, as well as herbicides, fungicides and fertilizers that don’t fall into those categories.

Some of the substances (hazchems), which include more than 200 types of dioxins, are so lethal that even a small leak into the water supply could kill or permanently harm millions of people, before they are detected.


Tap water in West Virginia counties remains unsafe

Some 300,000 residents in 9 West Virginia counties would be unable to use tap water for drinking, cooking, bathing or washing for days, following the chemical spill that contaminated the Elk River, on January 9.

Governor Tomblin declared a State of Emergency for nine counties on Thursday in 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.

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.

5,000 to 35,000 Gallons Leaked

Gary Southern, President of Freedom Industries, where the leak came from, told reporters he couldn’t say how much of the chemical, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol,  had been leaked, only that it was less than 35,000 gallons.

Gov Tomblin, on the other hand, has stated that only 5,000 gallons of chemical had leaked into Elk River.

A Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman said the chemical is used a “sudsing agent,”   in the processing of coal. The substance has an odor like licorice or anise.

“Our teams are out and we have employees that have worked this (water) system that are extremely knowledgeable. [They are] out collecting samples and looking at flushing activities at this time,” Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water Co, told reporters on Saturday.

“But we are talking days” before water quality meets federally mandated quality standards, Reuters reported McIntyre as saying.

Bottled Water

“As of Saturday, FEMA has delivered approximately 1 million liters of water from its distribution centers in Cumberland and Frederick, Maryland, to the area for use by the state,” said a spokesperson. “FEMA will continue to deliver supplies to the state for distribution, as needed.”

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:

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

Chronology (continued from previous posts)

01-11-14 @ noon

  • To read the proclamation extending the State of Emergency to Cabell, Clay, Logan and Roane counties, CLICK HERE.
  • To read the proclamation declaring a State of Emergency in Boone, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln and Putnam counties, CLICK HERE.

Developing story …

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