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Freedom Industries Ordered To Remove Storage Tanks After West Virginia Chemical Spill

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A worker moves a drilling machine  around storage tanks at Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
A worker moves a drilling machine around storage tanks at Freedom Industries storage facility in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's governor has ordered the company at the center of a chemical spill that tainted the water supply for the state capital to begin the process of removing all above-ground storage tanks from the Charleston operation.

A statement released Saturday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office says Freedom Industries must start the dismantling process by March 15.

The Jan. 9 spill at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

The order to dismantle and properly dispose of the tanks also includes associated piping and machinery. The facility currently has 17 tanks.

The governor's order was included in a consent order issued Friday by the state Department of Environmental Protection and signed by Freedom Industries. The company has already been ordered to remove almost 1 million gallons of chemicals from the plant.

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