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Patrol boat on the Elk River motors past Freedom Industries plant.
Freedom Industries leaky facility on the Elk River
David Gutman at the Charleston Gazette, which has been doing an excellent job covering the chemical spill into West Virginia's Elk River, reports another disturbing development:
A Marshall University environmental scientist and member of the state Environmental Quality Board said today that he has found formaldehyde in local water samples and that the continued lack of data on the chemical that leaked into the Elk River is very concerning.

"It's frightening, it really is frightening," said Scott Simonton, a member of the EQB, which oversees water permits for the state Department of Environmental Protection. "What we know scares us, and we know there's a lot more we don't know."

Simonton said it's up to everyone to decide whether to risk drinking the water, adding that he's not going to: "The formaldehyde had me personally a little freaked out."

One of the components of 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol, the "Crude MCHM" that Freedom Industries leaked at least 10,000 gallons of January 9, is methanol, which breaks down into formaldehyde.

He did not say when or how much formaldehyde he found at a downtown Charleston location.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:02 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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