Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

W.Va. orders company to drain chemical tanks

West Virginia State Trooper Nathan Stepp filled bottles with water for Homer Larch in Elkview.

AP

West Virginia State Trooper Nathan Stepp filled bottles with water for Homer Larch in Elkview.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia authorities have ordered a company to remove the chemicals from its storage tanks after a spill contaminated the water supply of nine counties and forced residents to use bottled water.

Officials at the Department of Environmental Protection ordered Freedom Enterprises Inc. late Friday to start removing all the chemicals in 14 above-ground storage tanks near the Elk River within 24 hours.

Continue reading below

The chemicals in three of those tanks, including one that was discovering leaking Thursday, have mostly been removed. Within a day, the company must submit a plan to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater.

The leak left the water for 300,000 people in and around Charleston stained blue-green and smelling like licorice. It was unclear Friday how much spilled and when residents can use the water again.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week