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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Documents show that West Virginia inspectors visited the site of last week's chemical spill in 2010 after a nearby resident complained about a strong odor of licorice.

The odor came from the same chemical that leaked into the Elk River and contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people. The documents released Thursday show that Freedom Industries, the company that stores the chemical, was not cited after the 2010 visit.

Robert Keatley, one of the inspectors, says the odor was not strong enough to merit a citation.

The licorice smell was prominent around the site on the morning of Jan. 9, the day the spill was discovered. The documents were first obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

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