W.Va. official: Spill company knew of 2nd chemical

The West Virginia American Water Co. intake facility on the Elk River is closed following a 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leak from a 48,000-gallon tank at Freedom Industries, a chemical storage facility about a mile upriver in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.  The White House has issued a federal disaster declaration in West Virginia, where a chemical spill that may have contaminated tap water has led officials to tell at least 300,000 people not to bathe, brush their teeth or wash their clothes. The West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. About 100,000 water customers, or 300,000 people total, were affected, state officials said. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)
The West Virginia American Water Co. intake facility on the Elk River is closed following a 4-methylcyclohexane methanol leak from a 48,000-gallon tank at Freedom Industries, a chemical storage facility about a mile upriver in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. The White House has issued a federal disaster declaration in West Virginia, where a chemical spill that may have contaminated tap water has led officials to tell at least 300,000 people not to bathe, brush their teeth or wash their clothes. The West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. About 100,000 water customers, or 300,000 people total, were affected, state officials said. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An environmental official says the company in the West Virginia water crisis immediately knew a second chemical leaked from its plant into the river, telling its workers in an email.

However, Freedom Industries did not let state government officials know about the second chemical right away. State environmental department official Mike Dorsey says most company employees also did not skim far enough to see the information.

Dorsey made the remarks Thursday on MetroNews radio, explaining the 12-day delay in the second chemical’s disclosure.

A chemical used to clean coal spilled from the tank into the Elk River Jan. 9. About 300,000 people were without water for days. Freedom told environmental officials Tuesday that a second, less toxic chemical also was mixed in the tank.

A call to Freedom Industries was not immediately returned Friday.

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