NEW INFO: MCHM Paperwork Wasn't Filed Before Spill

By: Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Jeremy Edwards Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New details are coming out about the chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water for nearly 300,000 people.

During a hearing Friday at the West Virginia State Capitol, Jimmy Gianato, Director of Homeland Security, told lawmakers they knew very little about the chemical MCHM in the hours after it leaked from Freedom Industries into the Elk River.

Gianato said paperwork on the chemical hadn't been filed because Freedom was just created nine days earlier.

According to state law, a company has 30 days to file that paperwork. also learned why it wasn't discovered for weeks that a second chemical called PPH spilled into the water at the same time. Gianato says Freedom officials told them they forgot about it being mixed in the tank.

Meanwhile, a plan to do in-home water testing on a large scale remains under consideration as of Friday. State officials updated lawmakers on the proposal during the hearing at the capitol. They say the biggest issue is getting permission to go into people's homes and figuring out which homes to go into. Officials say they can't test at every house.

So far, the National Guard says they have collected 2,200 samples since the spill happened. All of the tests have come back below 10 parts per billion except for one hydrant in Boone County. It was only slightly above that number and still considered safe to drink.

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