Denison wondered if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would exercise its rarely used authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act to compel disclosure of the exact identity of PPH.
Terri White, an EPA spokeswoman, did not respond to requests for comment.
On Wednesday morning, Amy Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, said the DEP's Dorsey did not mention the PPH issue in a legislative briefing Tuesday afternoon because he "was focusing his comments on the remediation work being done at the spill site.
"He received information about the additional chemical and passed that information on to the National Guard and other officials," Goodwin said. "He wanted to be certain of the material/seriousness of the new chemical and didn't want to prematurely release information that might not be correct."
Also Wednesday morning, the DEP released an order that it issued demanding that Freedom Industries disclose, by this afternoon, "any and all information fully describing the composition of the materials spilled into the Elk River on Jan. 9."
In a response, Freedom told the DEP that the tank contained only Crude MCHM mixtued and PPH.
"PPH is added to the Crude MCHM to act as an 'extender' in that the Crude MCHM is available in limited, sporadic quantities," Freedom said in its response. "At the time of the release on Jan. 9, the blend in Tank No. 396, after extensive calculation, was approximately 88.5 percent Crude MCHM, and 7.3 percent PPH by weight and 4.2 percent water by weight. Our records and internal investigations indicate that there were no other materials in Tank 396 at the time of the release."
The Freedom response differed somewhat from what the company told the DEP initially. It said that its PPH "is a hydrophobic glycol ether" that is described in the Dow MSDS for only one of the two products it originally mentioned, DiPPH Glycol Ether.
DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said, "Having this revelation so late in the game is completely unacceptable. Having to order them to provide such obvious information is indicative of the continued decline of their credibility."
But, state officials have been unable to explain why state sampling of the material in the tank that leaked at Freedom Industries didn't identify the PPH as being present.
Goodwin, the governor's spokeswoman, said, "The National Guard did the sampling at the tank site and we're still waiting to hear back on this issue."
State officials said late Tuesday that, after consulting with West Virginia American Water, they believe the water company's Elk River plant likely would have removed the chemical from drinking water during its normal treatment process. Additional testing of some of the original water samples from the first days after the incident is being conducted to confirm that, officials said.
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.