U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., issued a statement just before 5 p.m. Jan. 23 calling for "hazardous Freedom Industry site to be torn down and cleaned up."
Freedom Industries is the Charleston business where two chemicals were spilled into the Elk River Jan. 9 drawing a "do not use" order for West Virginia American Water customers in parts of nine southern West Virginia counties. The company filed for bankruptcy Jan. 17 and is the target of more than 20 lawsuits.
"After speaking to people directly affected by the spill, it is clear West Virginians are still very concerned about the quality of their water and the potential long-term effects of the water contamination," Manchin said in the statement. "The first step to restoring confidence in our water system and ensuring West Virginians that their water is safe is to tear down Freedom Industry's facility and completely remediate the site.
"We need to start from scratch."
Manchin said he also would continue to work at the federal level on legislation that would "fix the problems that allowed this disaster to happen in the first place."