- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Neighbors might detect the telltale scent of licorice as crews excavate soil contaminated by the 2014 Freedom Industries spill.

The excavation is scheduled to begin Monday at the site, which was the epicenter of a public water crisis for weeks. The spill into the Elk River left hundreds of thousands of residents in Charleston and neighboring counties without access to public water supplies.

Residents detected a licorice scent in their water supply after the spill.

The excavation is expected to remove up to 10,000 tons of soil. The work and sampling is expected to last several months.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection approved the excavation, as required by a remediation agreement.

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