Freedom Industries and Chemical Spill Essay

Freedom Industries and Chemical Spill Essay

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Affecting close to 100,000 homes and businesses, estimated to be close to 300,000 people, Freedom Industries experienced a chemical spill that contaminated the public water system in nine counties in the Charleston, West Virginia metropolitan area. This matter has raised a magnitude of issues that have affected not only residents of the tainted regions, but the company itself and the government. Forming a contingency plan early on could have significantly reduced or prevented the dangers of the chemical spill or at least made it easier to those in command to effectively respond to the spill. The lack of planning and communication amongst Freedom Industries, and the residents of the nine counties in West Virginia had great consequences that have affected everyone involved tremendously. The counties that were impacted by the chemical spill include Kanawha, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane county.
On January 9th, 2014 close to 5,000 gallons of a chemical manufactured by Eastman Chemicals identified as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol that has be classified as crude MCHM, a coal-cleaning chemical with a licorice smelling odor leaked from the Freedom Industries water plant into the Elk River in West Virginia. “According to its Material Safety Data Sheet, crude MCHM is a mixture of water plus six chemicals which are 4-MCHM, 4-(methoxymethyl) cyclohexanemethanol, methyl 4-methylcyclohexanecarboxylate, dimethyl 1,4-cyclohexanedicarboxylate, methanol, and 4-cyclohexanedimethanol” (Eastman, 2011). There is little known about this substance, and the studies that have been conducted are not sufficient enough to conclude whether or not there is a chronic effect(s) over a period of time. (Register herald) This part...


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...were staying abreast of the situation and ensuring the safety of the residents of the contaminated counties drinking water. However, providing the public with details on how the company was handeling the situation could have been resolved in more diplomatic manner.
Perhaps in order to ensure that a incident of this magnitude were to not occur again, a protection plans can be formed. This can be incoporated into new hire orientation, and improve employee training and addresses the propper protocal, response procedures, and how to manage materials. Visual inspections can be conducted routinely by qualified personnel to inspect equiptment and other tools used in the facility. By examining the facility regularly discovering that there are malfunctions or possibilities of an equipment failure can be caught early on and repaired before any major damage is done.

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