Spill into Elk River tributary investigated in Kanawha County | WSAZ

The substance is believed to be oil or petroleum.

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Three years after the massive Freedom Industries chemical spill into the Elk River contaminated drinking water for more than 300,000 people, another spill is being investigated in an Elk River tributary.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Kelley Gillenwater says on Tuesday they first received a citizen complaint about the issue near Mitch’s Towing in Elkview.

She says when their DEP inspector arrived around noon Tuesday, he noticed Mitch’s Towing had hired a contractor who brought in a device to crush cars.

Gillenwater says that equipment is supposed to have a device to collect any waste from crushing the cars, but some of the material, which she says was oil or petroleum, spilled onto the ground.

The rain from Tuesday also contributed to some of the waste washing across the property and into the stream because nearby storm drains were blocked, according to Gillenwater.

The spokesperson says as soon as the DEP inspector arrived, Mitch’s Towing ceased their operations and cleanup began right away. The inspector also went back to the property on Wednesday, said the cleanup was going well and that there was no sign of the material still on site.


“I strongly believe that Kanawha County government, West Virginia American Water, and environmental Enforcement should have been notified of this spill immediately upon discovery of the spill by West Virginia DEP officials,” Carper said.

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Source: Spill into Elk River tributary investigated in Kanawha County