Site of W.Va. spill was subject of 2010 complaint

January 16, 2014 • National News

In this photo taken on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, the moon rises over a chemical plant that sits along the banks of the Kanawha river in Marmet, W.Va. While no one became seriously ill from last week’s chemical spill a storage facility in Charleston, W.Va, some homeland security experts said the emergency was proof the United States has not done nearly enough to protect water systems from accidental spills or deliberate contamination. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia inspectors visited the site of last week’s chemical spill in 2010 when a nearby resident complained about a strong odor of licorice, the same smell that led officials to the spill Jan. 9, according to documents released Thursday.

The company that stores the chemical that leaked into the Elk River and contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people was not cited after the 2010 visit, the documents showed. Robert Keatley, one of the inspectors, said in an email that the odor was not strong enough to merit a citation.

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