State: 2nd chemical entered water in W.Va. spill

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm •  Published: January 22, 2014
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Information on PPH's toxicity is limited, but it appears to be lower than that of the other coal-cleaning chemical involved in the spill, which is known as MCHM, the CDC said.

"Given the small percentage of PPH in the tank and information suggesting similar water solubility as MCHM, it is likely that any amount of PPH currently in the water system would be extremely low," the CDC's statement said.

On Tuesday, Freedom Industries reached a bankruptcy court deal for up to $4 million in credit from a lender to help continue operations, an attorney said.

The deal lets the company continue paying its 51 employees in the short term, a biweekly payroll of about $172,000, said company attorney Mark Freelander. The company can also continue paying costs for environmental remediation and will have money for critical day-to-day administrative expenses, and can pay top vendors, according to the attorney.

Freedom Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, freezing dozens of lawsuits against the company. Many are by local businesses owners who say they lost money during a water-use ban that lasted several days. State and federal investigations into the spill of a coal-cleaning chemical are continuing.

Southern, the company president, said in bankruptcy court testimony that the 12 days since the spill have been "completely chaotic."

Southern had said the company spent $800,000 last week to remedy environmental damage from the spill.

Chief Judge Ronald G. Pearson, who called the case one of the most unusual he's seen, said Freedom Industries wouldn't obtain all the protections it sought, since the company so far has offered very little financial information.

Freedom Industries still has to move almost 1 million gallons of calcium chloride and glycerin from the Charleston site under state regulators' orders.

Approached after the bankruptcy hearing with questions about the second chemical, Southern walked away from reporters and said he had another meeting to attend.

Tomblin said that he didn't know he received campaign checks from Freedom Industries executives until he saw media reports Wednesday. He received a $500 check in 2011 and 2012 from J. Clifford Forrest and $500 from Dennis Farrell in 2011.

For her 2014 U.S. Senate run, U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is giving $500 she received from Forrest to a W.Va. charity. So is US Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whom Forrest gave $1,000 for his 2008 gubernatorial run.

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