Update on West Virginia water contamination problems

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Below is an update from Warren who has documented the water contamination issues in West Virginia. 

Officially, all of the water has been cleared and most people are once again bathing and cleaning with it, me included.  A lot are not drinking it yet however.  I suspect that will go on for a long time.  The water company president drank a big glassful on tv the other night to prove it is ok but the Governor said he wasn’t going to say it was safe…that’s not his call.  A lot of people are pissed at the Governor for saying that but I think it was smart.  He didn’t help confidence but if he isn’t convinced, I wouldn’t want it on my head either.  I don’t blame him at all.  Especially considering that the chemical company just released that there was at least one other chemical (I think called PHP) in the tank that leaked.  I don’t know if they really know what was in the tank honestly.  Supposedly the site has been remediated so there should not be any more getting into the system and the strong smell has gone away as far as I can tell.  Our plan is to wait until mid-February to start cooking and brushing teeth with it.  I don’t see a choice.  We just cannot go on forever and by then, there will be serious dilution-effects so what’s left should be negligible esp if the site is cleaned.  If this was an ongoing leak, I can’t imagine what would happen

Politically, there are a lot of lawsuits going on but the company declaring bankruptcy halted a lot of that moving forward.  Many folks are still up in arms and he state Legislature is currently in session so something may actually happen to make it better…but with all things related to government making progress, I remain skeptical.
Thanks Warren – 


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  1. Leave it to the company to declare bankruptcy. With none of the lawsuits going forward, they can close shop, move somewhere else under a new name and start all over again. You and neighbors need to keep track of this company to prevent this from happening.

  2. Exactly dirty ron. Poisoning a person is a crime. He is a criminal. Why isn’t the owner of this company in jail at the very least? These polluters need to start being held accountable for their actions. When was the last time you heard of one of them being given jail time instead of a slap on the wrist fine?

  3. Warren, I’m happy for all the people affected by this spill and that things are getting better, but I agree with your stance on waiting till mid Feb. before drinking or cooking with the water, stay safe.

  4. As I understand it, there is no discernible effect on wildlife of any sort. I have not heard of die-offs or anything like that. I think what most people are more worried about are potential long-term effects. Heck, who knows? Maybe there will be none and all this will be ok. But it’s not a great feeling to have to wonder if something will crop up in the next, say, 20 years. So immediate effects seem to be nil and long term remains to be seen.

    Apparently the official word is that the second chemical that was released is less toxic than the first so maybe we are all good. What stinks though, is that the good news here is that we just got lucky. What I mean is that this could have been a much worse chemical that could have had huge and immediate effects. That is little comfort to me considering that there are tanks of God-knows-what in takes all across America’s waterways

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