NITRO, W.Va. -- It smells like licorice in the Par Industrial Park in Nitro.
Par Industrial Park is the home of Poca Blending, a subsidiary of Freedom Industries. Under orders from the state Department of Environmental Protection, Freedom used tanker trucks to transport all the remaining chemicals from their facility on the Elk River to Poca Blending, a drive of about 17 miles.
Every one of those trucks went within about 100 feet of the Nitro Public Library. The library, which has been closed since the leak was discovered last week, sits about a quarter mile down the road from Poca Blending.
Lynn Godby, the library manager, was at work on Wednesday morning, beginning the process of flushing the building's pipes so they could reopen today.
She had no idea that the tanker trucks that had driven by contained 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol from Freedom Industries, or that the chemical was being stored so close by.
"It makes me a little uneasy," Godby said Wednesday. "You don't like to think they're just right down the road."
On Tuesday state regulators cited Freedom Industries for a broad variety of violations after an inspection of the Poca Blending site. The state Department of Environmental Protection issued five notices of violation, or NOVs, alleging improper storage of materials that could contaminate groundwater, failure to follow a DEP-issued stormwater permit, failure to provide required pollution discharge monitoring reports.
Interestingly, the DEP also cited Freedom's Nitro operation for not having the appropriate "secondary containment" for chemical spills -- a problem that regulators have said was a major cause of last Thursday's spill of "Crude MCHM" into the Elk River.
"Secondary containment within the facility was deteriorated or non-existent," the DEP said in an inspection report. "The plan indicates that the building itself acts a secondary containment, but holes exist at floor level in the building's walls.
"The building is surrounded by a trench which catches any runoff from within the building," the report says. "Closed gates prevent this trench from discharging unless personnel open them, but since there is no method for separating stormwater from spillage prior to entering the trench, it does not function as secondary containment."
The report says that six tanks containing MCHM from the Elk River site are staged on site. It adds, "Construction of a clay berm is planned to provide secondary containment for these tanks, but two are currently placed in a location which would prevent such construction and only one tank is on an impervious surface."
DEP inspected the Nitro site on Monday and issued the NOVs on Tuesday. The documents were made public on Wednesday.
Agency Secretary Randy Huffman said that DEP's enforcement and cleanup order had clearly mandated that Freedom Industries take the material from the Elk River spill to a site with proper precautions, including required spill containment.
"It's a problem," Huffman said. "They did not follow our order."
DEP's order to Freedom Industries did not specify exactly where the material from the Elk Rive site had to be taken, and Huffman said he did not know for sure when agency officials learned it was being taken to Nitro.
Huffman said the company's Nitro operation holds a DEP storm-water pollution permit.