Gary Southern, president of Freedom Industries, told Dorsey he had recently put $1 million in escrow to fix the block dike that's meant to stop any spills from the tanks, Dorsey said.
"They just hadn't gotten to it yet," Dorsey said.
Dorsey said that the licorice odor associated with the chemical is "apparently not" harmful to breathe. The odor has been prevalent in much of Charleston and is still noticeable near the Elk River.
Dr. Elizabeth Sharman, director of the West Virginia Poison Control Center, said that it's possible water could still smell even when the chemical is below acceptable levels.
"Just because people can smell the product does not mean it's at a dangerous level," Sharman said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin thanked residents for their patience in dealing with the chemical leak.
"We got through a derecho, Super Storm Sandy and floods together and now we'll get through this," Tomblin said. He went on to call the chemical leak "unacceptable."
Tomblin also indicated that he would pursue legislation attempting to prevent future issues like this.
"There are certain reporting things that companies have to do and we do need to look at it to make sure this type of incident does not happen again," he said.
On Saturday afternoon, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced it was deploying a team to Charleston to investigate the chemical leak at Freedom Industries.
The announcement follows calls by Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., for a CSB probe.
"This incident continues to impact the people of West Virginia. Our goal is to find out what happened to allow a leak of such magnitude to occur and to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place to prevent a similar incident from occurring," said board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso.
The CSB team will be led by supervisory investigator Johnnie Banks and is scheduled to arrive in West Virginia on Monday morning, agency officials said.
The CSB is an independent federal agency with authority to investigate industrial chemical accidents. Agency officials don't write citations or issue fines but come up with recommendations for prevention of future accidents.
Previously, the CSB has issued detailed reports on a propane tank explosion that killed four people at a Little General convenience store in Ghent in January 2007, a blast that killed two workers at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute in August 2008, and a series of January 2010 incidents that killed one worker at the DuPont Co. plant in Belle.
The board has yet to release a report on a December 2010 explosion and fire that killed three workers at the AL Solutions plant in New Cumberland.
"I'm pleased the Chemical Safety Board responded so quickly to my request for a formal investigation into the Freedom Industries chemical spill," Rockefeller said Saturday in a statement.
Dorsey, with the DEP, said the chemical is partially soluble. Because the chemical will be diluted, it should not cause problems for communities downstream, Dorsey said. Emergency officials here have been in contact with the Ohio River Sanitation Commission as a precaution, he said.
"I don't see how it could possibly be an issue for anyone downstream," Dorsey said.
Officials said that they are continuing to bring in clean water for affected residents.
Jimmy Gianato, director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security, said the state has been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has brought in 1.4 million liters of water to date.
He was expecting FEMA to supply an additional 1.6 million liters over the course of the weekend.
Water distribution centers have been set up across the area.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.
Reach David Gutman at david.gut...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvagazette.com or 304-348-1702.