In Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, a 48,000 gallon tank at the Freedom Industries plant dumped a chemical called 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, a water source for 300,000 people in nine counties. Residents have been warned not to drink or wash with their tap water. Officials from the West Virginia American Water Company and Freedom Industries immediately held a press conference to address this public health crisis.
West Virginia American Water President Jeffrey McIntyre: “I can’t tell you that the water is unsafe … but I also can’t tell you it’s safe.”
Freedom Industries president Gary Southern: “Our intent is to be absolutely transparent and we’ll tell you what we know, as much as we know. … We have no information on that.”
“West Virginia chemical spill leaves 300,000 without clean water,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC
“Freedom Industry,” Aaron Bady, The New Inquiry
“The 6 Most Terrifying Facts About The Chemical Spill Contaminating West Virginia’s Drinking Water,” Katie Valentine, Think Progress
“Chemical Guesswork in West Virginia,” Deborah Blum, Wired
“Critics Say Chemical Spill Highlights Lax West Virginia Regulations,” Coral Davenport and Ashley Southallajan, New York Times
President Obama Signs West Virginia Emergency Declaration (press release)
Governor Tomblin Declares State of Emergency In 9 Counties (press release)
Statement of U.S. Attorney Goodwin on Chemical Release Into Water Supply (Southern Circuit of West Virginia press release)
“How Safe is U.S. Drinking Water?” Eric Niiler, Discovery News
“Boehner’s response to West Virginia’s chemical spill: ‘We have enough regulations,’” Lindsay Abrams, Salon
Freedom Industries logo property of that firm (fair use claim)
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Tags: 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, business, Charleston, chemical industry, chemical spills, chemicals, coal industry, Elk River, environment, MCHM, public health, public safety, utilities, water, West Virginia, WV