Crews clean up a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., which compromised the public water supply of eight counties on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
January 25, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia's governor has ordered the company at the center of a chemical spill that tainted the water supply for the state capital to begin the process of removing all above-ground storage tanks from the Charleston operation.
A statement released Saturday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office says Freedom Industries must start the dismantling process by March 15.
The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.
The order to dismantle and properly dispose of the tanks also includes associated piping and machinery. The facility currently has 17 tanks.
The governor's order was included in a consent order issued Friday by the state Department of Environmental Protection and signed by Freedom Industries. The company has already been ordered to remove almost 1 million gallons of chemicals from the plant.