Once again, Freedom Industries has increased the amount of chemicals they believe spilled into the Elk River in West Virginia.
Freedom Industries now says about 10,000 gallons of a blend of crude MCHM and PPH leaked from their chemical plant into the Elk River, an increase from a previous estimate of 7,500 gallons and initial government estimates of no more than 5,000 gallons. So far, the company has been able to clean up about 1,272 gallons of the chemical using absorbent booms and other control devices. Freedom Industries made the revision when prompted by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to disclose how the company came up with the initial estimate of 7,500.
How did the company come up with the original estimate of 7,500 gallons?
It seems clear to me that they yanked it straight out of their ass. The storage container MCHM and PPH leaked from had a capacity of 35,000 gallons and as of this time neither Freedom Industries or the local EPA can say with any certainty how much of the chemical was allowed to flow into the river. Furthermore, no one knows how long the leak persisted before it was discovered.
The ban on drinking tap water was lifted nearly two weeks ago, but only a fraction of the chemicals have been removed from the waterway.
Some people have chosen not to drink the water, but not everyone has a choice. Not everyone can afford to live off bottled water for an entire month.