The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Division of Water and Waste Management confirmed that it approved a storm water management plan for demolition activities last week; Freedom Industries’ restructuring team and contractor, Independence Excavating, have already begun the disassembly legwork that is expected to last two to four weeks.

The project involves 10 steel tanks, and another four will be left on site to store storm water runoff that could potentially come into contact with potentially contaminated soil.

The plan also involves covering areas in the footprint of the tanks with liners so the contaminated soil will not be exposed to rain during the demolition; removing excess dirt and mud from equipment and boots; using a vacuum truck to collect liquid material found on the surface once tanks are removed; placing dismantled material within the containment wall area until it is loaded and hauled away; and maintaining and carefully monitoring existing sump pumps and collection trenches.

Once the tanks are removed, thorough soil and groundwater analysis will be performed to determine the scope of the contamination and steps needed to remediate the site.

The leak of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or, more simply, crude MCHM, into the Elk River was first discovered at the complex January 9.