Lawmakers join effort to stop MCHM waste water dumping in Hurric - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Lawmakers join effort to stop MCHM waste water dumping in Hurricane, WV

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A spokesperson with the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection estimates nearly 50,000 gallons of MCHM waste water have been dumped in a Hurricane landfill. A spokesperson with the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection estimates nearly 50,000 gallons of MCHM waste water have been dumped in a Hurricane landfill.

A spokesperson with the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection estimates nearly 50,000 gallons of MCHM waste water have been dumped in a Hurricane landfill.

As of Wednesday, Freedom Industries had disposed 36,000 gallons of waste water from its spill site at Disposal Services, Inc. WVDEP spokesperson Tom Aluise said crews dumped an additional 12,000 gallons Thursday.

A chemical leak at Freedom Industries along Barlow Drive contaminated the drinking water of nearly 300,000 people in January.

Residents continue to complain about a black licorice odor wafting through the city of Hurricane. Aluise said the department has received 15 total complaints since Wednesday. Inspectors with the DEP Division of Air Quality visited the site Thursday and determined the smell stems from the waste water, which contains MCHM.

The mayor of Hurricane and the Putnam County Commission have been planning to file a injunction against Waste Management--the company that owns DSI. Waste Management released a statement to 13 News Thursday. You can read it here.

"Our attorneys advised me moments ago that Waste Mgt [sic] is getting served paperwork today advising them of the injunction that is being filed with the Circuit Court of Putnam County, which appears to be proper protocol for this type of injunction," Mayor Scott Edwards wrote on his Facebook page. "They are hopeful to have an answer from the Court on Monday to hopefully this mess stopped. "

A clerk in Putnam County Circuit Court said the parties had not filed an injunction as of Friday afternoon.

Since the incident, Edwards has urged citizens to call the Governor's Office and other public entities to complain about the dumping.

As of Friday, the Governor's Office had received 32 calls and nine emails regarding the situation.

The mayor also reached out to Sen. Mike Hall (R-Putnam) and Sen. Chris Walters (R-Putnam) for additional help. Both expressed frustration with the WVDEP, who did not notify residents it had modified DSI's permit.

While the regular legislative session ended last Saturday, Sen. Hall said he's already looking to next year. He said he hopes to work on a bill that lets cities have a say in what's dumped at nearby landfills.

"It's in bad taste," said Hall, who also mentioned possibly organizing a town hall meeting about the topic. "It's just flat-out beyond incompetent."

Sen. Walter said he agrees with Edwards--the dumping should stop until local officials can learn more about the chemical.

"I think this should have been put not in this region," Walters said.

Crews must solidify the water with sawdust before dumping, according to Aluise. The DEP modified DSI's permit in February 2014. According to documents obtained by 13 News, the permit allows Freedom to dispose for up to 100 tons of waste until October 2014. 

Aluise explained the modification lets Freedom Industries dispose a material not typically dumped at DSI. When asked why the DEP failed to inform the public about the dumping, Aluise deferred to a scheduling issue. He said the DEP does not classify MCHM as a hazardous material.

"I wasn't sure exactly of the time frame of when it was going to be delivered to the landfill, so based on that it wasn't a good schedule for me to follow," he said in an interview Thursday.

People in the city of Hurricane receive their drinking water from three major outlets: Putnam Public Service District, the City of Hurricane, or West Virginia American Water Company. Edwards assured residents that the dumping does not affect the area's drinking water.