West Virginia Declares State Of Emergency After Coal Chemical Contaminates Drinking Water
Residents of nine counties in West Virginia have been told not to use or drink their water after a chemical used by the coal industry spilled into the Elk River on Thursday. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency as more than 100,000 customers, or 300,000 people, are without safe drinking water.
“Don’t make baby formula,” said West Virginia American Water Company president Jeff McIntyre. “Don’t brush your teeth. Don’t shower. Toilet flushing only.”
The chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), is used to wash coal of impurities and spilled from a tank at Freedom Industries into the river. While the amount of MCHM that spilled wasn’t immediately known, West Virginia American Water has been conducting water quality testing every hour. According to Laura Jordan, a spokesperson with the water company, they believe the chemical is leaking at ground level and “there is a possibility this leak has been going on for sometime before it was discovered Thursday,” WSAZ reported.
First, why on earth was a chemical capable of doing that much damage within a 100 miles of a water source much less in a tank next to the river?
Second, no one knows how long it has been leaking? Do you just wait for people to get sick and die before you “look into it”?
Third, “Freedom Industries”? Hello, fake name alert!! Good luck trying to find these guys to pay for cleanup.
In America, the costs of free enterprise run amok are always borne by the citizens. When will we finally say “that cost is too high”?
That last question, by the way, is addressed to everyone in America, not just West Virginians.