As if the company wasn’t already in enough hot water, a new report released this week reveals that Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the massive chemical leak in West Virginia, failed to disclose a second chemical that leaked into the state’s water supply. The second chemical appears to be less toxic than the original, but the company’s failure to disclose the information could have had a devastating impact since the second chemical could have continued to taint drinking water after the original cleanup. Luckily, the water has been tested and no trace of the chemical has been detected, but officials are criticizing the company’s lack of honesty in the situation.
Nearly two weeks after the original leak, the company revealed that a second chemical, a blend of glycol ethers known as PPH, was also present in the tank when it leaked but only made up a small fraction, around five per cent, of the tank’s contents. According to the CDC, the health risk from the additional chemical is small compared to the overall problem because it makes up such a small portion and is less harmful to humans than the other chemical. Nonetheless, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, halting the dozens of pending lawsuits that the company was expecting and managed to reach a deal with a lender for a $4 million loan so that it could continue to pay its 51 employees, day-to-day expenses and costs for the cleanup process. According to the company’s president Gary Southern, Freedom Industries has already spent $800,000 for environmental remediation.
The failure to disclose the spill is another hit for the company’s credibility, and the state has ordered it to disclose everything that leaked. Nevertheless, the CDC assures people in West Virginia that despite the additional chemical, local water should still be safe to use and they are running more tests to confirm that this is true.
Via The Guardian
Images from Foo Conner