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West Virginia Spill Included Second Chemical, Officials Report

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WEST VIRGINIA
An unidentified worker at Freedom Industries shovels NAPA premium oil absorbent on January 10, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia. (Photo by Tom Hindman/Getty Images) | Tom Hindman via Getty Images

The West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without tap water for a week contained a second, previously unreported chemical, federal and state officials announced Tuesday.

The 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol released into the Elk River on Jan. 9 also included a product known as "PPH," which contains glycol ether, the Charleston Gazette's Ken Ward Jr. reported.

"We have to go back and confirm things and make sure we're doing our due diligence for public health," said Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard. Officials are confident that the West Virginia American Water Co.'s treatment plant near the Elk River likely removed the PPH during normal treatment operations since the spill.

Restrictions on using tap water were lifted for most of the affected residents by Friday. W.Va. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin addressed ongoing concerns on Monday, saying, "If you do not feel comfortable drinking or cooking in this water, then use bottled water." He added, "I'm not going to say absolutely, 100 percent that everything is safe. But what I can say is if you do not feel comfortable, don't use it."

The company behind the spill, Freedom Industries, filed for bankruptcy on Friday.

Read more at the Charleston Gazette.

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