FREEDOM INDUSTRIES BREAKS SILENCE: Don’t know how leak happened - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

FREEDOM INDUSTRIES BREAKS SILENCE: Doesn’t know how leak happened

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    One popular organization in Wheeling has changed their name. "Downtown Wheeling Inc.," will now be known as "Reinvent Wheeling." The group hosts many events in the Wheeling area such as the Wine and Jazz Festival, the Big Ideas Speaker series, and First Fridays. According to Reinvent Wheeling member Jake Dougherty, the name change is intended to reflect the organizations efforts to revitalize the downtown area. He said, "We were looking for a name that really expresses what was happening in d...
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  • 2014 West Virginia Broadband Conference highlights NTIA grant

    2014 West Virginia Broadband Conference highlights NTIA grant

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-08-20 19:13:42 GMT
    At the West Virginia Broadband Conference: Investing in the Future, at the Charleston Mariott Town Center Aug. 19, presenters highlighted the multiple sectors in the Mountain State's 11 planning and development regions that received monetary funds through a grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United State Department of Commerce.
    At the West Virginia Broadband Conference: Investing in the Future, at the Charleston Mariott Town Center Aug. 19, presenters highlighted the multiple sectors in the Mountain State's 11 planning and development regions that received monetary funds through a grant by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United State Department of Commerce.

Gary Southern, president of Freedom Industries, addressed the media from his company's Charleston plant 24 hours after an undetermined amount of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which is used in coal washing and preparation, leaked from a containment area into the Elk River and surrounding soil.

Southern, while sipping bottled water, said it had been "an extremely hard day."

Southern said all the material had been moved off the site, and he expressed a sincere apology for the situation.

"Our mission now is to move to the next phase of remediation … taking the contaminated dirt off site," Southern said.

Southern said the leak occurred from 35,000 gallon steel storage tank, and that the facility operates around the clock. He said there are not many long periods of time when the tanks are left unattended.

(KANAWHA COUNTY COMMISSION PRESIDENT: CHEMICAL LEAK QUESTIONS REMAIN)

Southern said the company was aware of the leak at about 10:30 a.m. Jan. 9. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a statement Jan. 10 saying the company never alerted authorities to the leak. The DEP detected it after area residents reported a foul odor in the area.

If you need access to water click here and get more information on the leak at our dedicated water crisis page by clicking here