Accident: Freedom Industries Chemical Release
Location: Location: Charleston, WV
Accident Occurred On: 01/09/2014 | Final Report Released On: 05/11/2017
Accident Type: Release
Investigation Status: The CSB's final investigation report was released on 5.11.2017
A leak originating from a storage tank at Freedom Industries contaminated the local water supply leaving hundreds of thousands of West Virginia residents without clean drinking water.
Communicate the findings, lessons learned and recommendations contained within this report to all American Water Works Association members. Emphasize the importance of source water protection planning, emergency planning, and coordination with local, state and federal entities, and the public, to ensure timely notification of potential water contamination events and emergencies.
Establish requirements for all American Water state utilities’ surface water treatment plants to undertake the following activities:
1. Conduct an inventory of all hazardous chemicals or classes of hazardous chemicals that are considered a potential source of significant contamination stored in the utility’s most vulnerable source water protection area (e.g., Zone of Critical Concern). Chemicals may be identified by accessing publicly available information, which may include Tier II reporting forms submitted to local emergency planning committees and electronically available information from federal, state or local databases.
2. For each inventoried chemical or class of chemicals, conduct a prioritized assessment to determine if existing analytical methods are available to detect the presence and/or concentration of the chemical or class of chemicals in the event of a release to the water supply and if the chemical or class of chemicals is capable of being treated or removed by the utility’s water treatment process.
3. For all chemicals or classes of chemicals that are not capable of being treated or removed by the treatment process, develop a contingency plan to respond to contamination events (e.g., as modeled by WVAW’s Kanawha Valley Water System June 2016 Source Water Protection Plan).
Update appropriate sections of the Crude MCHM Safety Data Sheet to include toxicological and ecological information based on the June 1, 2016, National Toxicology Program’s toxicity evaluation of Crude MCHM. Include information about the effects of Crude MCHM on fetal and early life growth and development. Distribute the revised Crude MCHM SDS to all customers that previously received and are currently using or storing MCHM from Eastman, and ensure all new MCHM customers receive the revised SDS with shipment.