Posts Tagged ‘chemical industry’

West Virginia: Life in the Spill Zone

March 13, 2014

West Virginia: Life in the Spill Zone

“Life in West Virginia wasn’t all that easy to begin with. It is the third poorest state in the country; almost 18 percent of its population lives below the poverty line. Many people in the spill zone are now spending a chunk of their paychecks simply to have access to clean water — a necessity so fundamental it’s one that people in a developed country should expect.”

— “Don’t Drink the Water: West Virginia After the Chemical Spill,” Heather Rogers, Rolling Stone

Related:

“Chemical Valley,” Evan Osmos, The New Yorker

“What’s that smell in West Virginia water?” ScienceBlog

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Wild, Wonderful West Virginia

January 16, 2014

Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
The business-friendly, health-challenged state of West Virginia has still not recovered from the spill of 7,500 gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM) from Charleston’s Freedom Industries chemical plant into the Elk River, drinking water source for 300,000 people in nine counties. Some recent updates:

“Why So Many West Virginians Relied on Water from the Elk River: Industry Already Polluted the Others,” Nora Caplan-Bricker, The New Republic

“Safety violations found at another Freedom chemical facility,” Lindsay Abrams, Salon

“West Virginia chemical spill shines spotlight on loose regulation,” Alexandra Field. Meridith Edwards and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

“West Virginians Tolerate Chemical Spills Out of Fear of Losing Jobs,” Robert Reich, Moyers & Company

“I’m From West Virginia and I’ve Got Something to Say About the Chemical Spill,” Eric Waggoner, Huffington Post

“Thirsty in West Virginia,” Emma Fisher, Salon

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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West Virginia Ministry of Truth Press Conference

January 11, 2014

West Virginia Ministry of Truth Press Conference
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.

Press conference speakers had been well-trained by Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, and adhered to its principles:

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.”

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