CHARLESTON, WV -
Problems at Freedom Industries never seem to end. On Thursday afternoon, inspectors swarmed the site of Freedom Industries once again after water overflowed from a containment trench into the Elk River.
"This is the first time we've had any issues with this trench,” said Kelley Gillenwater, the state DEP spokesperson. “We can't determine yet exactly what happened, what caused the pump to malfunction.”
A sump pump that was supposed to pump excess water to a storage tank stopped working. It is unclear if the water entering the river contained trace amounts of MCHM, the material that spilled at the site on January 9.
DEP officials say they discovered the problem during a routine inspection of the facilities. They say such inspections are done daily and nothing seemed wrong earlier that morning.
"We have inspectors on the site and they will remain on the sight until they are assured nothing like this will happen again,” said Gillenwater.
The DEP and West Virginia American Water both conducted tests on water samples immediately after the spill. So far results from both the agency and the company came back at non-detect levels. The DEP is still waiting on results from samples taken at the trench where the leak occurred.
Neighbors say they are upset something like this could happen just months after the water crisis.
"No way should we have to go through what we did in January again,” said Snodgrass. “I'm really afraid even if it's not from Freedom Industries this is going to happen again.”
The cause of the pump malfunction is still under investigation. It is also unclear how much of the water actually overflowed into the river.
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Charleston, WV 25301
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