Public meeting on Freedom site decontamination next Tuesday

On Tuesday, March 24th from 5-7pm at the Charleston Civic Center, consultants from Freedom Industries and the Department of Environmental Protection will host a public meeting about the remediation of the Elk River site.

Though the tanks have been removed from the site, the ground is, of course, still contaminated with MCHM and the other chemicals that leaked from the tank.

Last week, Freedom Industries was accepted into the DEP’s voluntary remediation program, which requires “risk-based remediation”, whatever that means, as opposed to the more expensive alternative of full removal of MCHM from the site.  According to the Gazette, Freedom’s chief restructuring officer, Mark Welch, hopes that “there is little remediation left to do, other than put a cap over the site and establish some sort of environmental monitoring program.”  The DEP, meanwhile, has repeatedly stated that it will not accept any plan that does not eliminate the risk of MCHM contaminating the Elk River.

Under the requirements of the voluntary remediation program, Freedom and DEP have until March 30th to agree on a timeline for sampling, risk assessment, and development of a workplan for the site – unless both parties agree on an extension.  No such agreement has yet been reached.

Freedom’s chief restructuring officer told the Gazette’s Ken Ward that, at the meeting, Freedom will provide “further assurances on remediation, soil removal and chemical analysis.” Yet the DEP spokeswoman said, “[w]e can’t give any specifics about the plan for Freedom, though, because there isn’t one yet.”

Should be an interesting meeting.

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