Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Freedom Industries chemical spill traveled 390 miles from West Virginia to Louisville, study says

The Freedom Industries January 2014 chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people in Charleston and surrounding communities traveled farther than previously thought, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey researchers, Emily Atkin reports for ThinkProgress. Researchers say the spill traveled at least 390 miles to the Ohio River in Louisville.

"Though prominent spill researchers have long speculated that the chemical traveled across state lines, the study’s leader author Bill Foreman told ThinkProgress that his represented, 'as far as I know of, the first, reported, published-in-a-journal documentation of (crude MCHM) found there in the Louisville area,'" Atkin writes.

Last month Freedom and six of its owners, managers and employees were charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act related to the spill. This week a report ordered by West Virginia Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says that the Mountain State has inadequate environmental regulations to prevent incidents such as the Freedom Industries spill.

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