CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The company responsible for a chemical spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without safe tap water finally told the state what it plans to do with chemicals stored unsafely at a different location.
Freedom Industries will transfer the rest of the crude MCHM and contaminated water stored at its Poca Blending location in new, "double-walled Baker tanks," said Tom Aluise, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.
Baker tanks are large, wheeled tanks typically used to store fracking waste, DEP Secretary Randy Huffman has said.
Freedom is currently storing the chemical and contaminated water from the spill site in single-walled tanks, and in an area with no ability to contain a leak in an emergency.
There were 15 tanks on the site Thursday morning: Five contained crude MCHM and the other 10 held the contaminated water, Aluise said.
There are also four tanker trucks filled with contaminated water. Alusie said they would be emptied and put in the new Baker tanks, which meet the DEP parameters for sufficient secondary containment.
The new tanks were supposed to arrive at the Poca Blending site Thursday evening, Aluise said. Freedom has until Jan. 23 to finish transferring the chemicals and water from the current tanks to the new ones, Aluise said.
Freedom failed to notify the DEP of these changes by a 4 p.m. deadline Thursday, one of several new violations by the company.
The DEP discovered Freedom was trying to separate the contaminated water from the chemical using a heating process, having never provided the state with any plan about the process.
"For the material that is a mixture of water and MCHM (mostly water), they were using a heating process to separate the water from the MCHM," Aluise said.
"We ordered them to stop until they provided more information about the process."
Aluise said they have stopped.
A message left with a woman who previously told the Daily Mail she represents Freedom was not returned.
The DEP issued five notices of violation Wednesday to Poca Blending, a company in Nitro owned and operated by Freedom. Freedom took the rest of the MCHM that was stored at its Elk River location, and contaminated water from that site, and stored it at the Poca Blending site.
After inspecting the Poca Blending site Monday, the DEP discovered the facility had no meaningful secondary containment. The plan for the property listed the walls of a building storing other chemicals as the barrier of last resort.
The crude MCHM and contaminated water aren't stored in that building, and there are holes in the walls, according to the DEP.
The other violations issued specifically to Poca Blending include failing to follow a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and Groundwater Protection Plan and not providing discharge monitoring reports, as required by law.