The Company At The Center Of The West Virginia Chemical Spill Has Filed For Bankruptcy

Freedom industrial MCHM, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol Charleston West VirginiaAP Photo/Steve HelberA storage tank with the chemical designation MCHM, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, the chemical that leaked into the Elk River, is shown at Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston, Va.

Freedom Industries has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a court in southern district of West Virginia, just eight days after a dangerous chemical leak in the state.

Up to 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM), a chemical used to wash coal, leaked from a tank at a Freedom facility upstream from the Kanawha Valley water treatment plant on Jan. 9.

Following the leak, some 300,000 residents and many businesses were advised not to use
tap water for drinking, cooking, washing, or bathing — and many were without water for around a week.

Tainted water smells like licorice and can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhoea, rashes, and reddened skin. More than 100 people went to the hospital with reported symptoms.

Freedom Industries has been accused of negligence and causing a public nuisance in a number of lawsuits after the spill. The company is seeking protection from these lawsuits with their bankruptcy filing.

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