West Virginia chemical spill triggers tap water ban

Comments (20)
whatsdabiznus wrote:

It’s obvious that someone is keeping vital info from the public, LIKE what the chemicals are!!!!

Jan 09, 2014 8:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
datsneefa wrote:

These states don’t want regulation, but are happy to take a handout when the obvious occurs.

they shouldnt get a penny

Jan 09, 2014 10:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:

As a result of environment destroying coal strip-mining for years on end in West Virginia, there isn’t a drop of water there fit to drink.
So what’s a little more pollution to them; they thrive on adversity.
They run environmentalists out of their communities and refuse help except when there’s a catastrophe or something, and they need money.
“Coalminer’s daughter” has a lot to say about their sad way of life.
Coal gave them a chance for a better life, but now it’s killing them.
GOP/NRA/TEA party activists lobbying against the EPA are responsible.

Jan 10, 2014 12:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
emmylou wrote:

From WV I’d like to say thank you for your kind words. Hope you sleep well tonight and enjoy your water while lots of innocent hard working people go without.

Jan 10, 2014 1:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
SgtStedanko wrote:

Clean Coal…

Jan 10, 2014 3:22am EST  --  Report as abuse
Marla wrote:

This past summer my husband and I went camping just outside Canaan Valley, WVA. The mountains and valleys are stunning, gorgeous views almost everywhere you look, until you drive around a corner and see a mountain that has been clear-cut and flat-topped in the state’s rabid quest for coal. The mountains were scalped! We saw coal stacks belching black ribbons of who knows what into the blue sky, marring the otherwise beautiful landscape. A landscape that is being slowly murdered! We “shared” the roads with dirty coal trucks that endlessly rumbled by, and that seemed as if they’d be happy to run us right over if we dared get in their way.

I’ve never seen anything like the rampant destruction of the environment that I saw there last summer. I shamelessly admit that on more than one occasion I literally had to pull off the road and cry because it was THAT awful. We will not be camping in WVA again anytime soon.

Jan 10, 2014 7:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
Lemming wrote:

I doubt W. Virginia coal mine operators will learn anything from this disaster. Maybe citizens in W. Virginia will be forced to make a collective decision to force coal mining out of business and demand other means be found for energy! Glad I don’t live anywhere near there.

Jan 10, 2014 9:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
optimism1 wrote:

I live in Charleston, West Virginia, just a few miles from this spill, and my water is affected. There are only three comments here aside from mine — as of right now — and all three are negative comments about my state. I have too much class to jump online and do this to people in other areas when they have emergencies; a tornado, a hurricane, a snow storm, an act of terror, anything. I want to point out that my quality of life in my home state is wonderful, though. I have access to mountains, fields, natural places… as well as galleries, resturants, cultural events. I never have time to get bored, there is always something to inspire. Coal isn’t everything here — it’s an industry. My grandfather and father were both coal miners, I know coal miners in the present day, and studied local history while working on my master’s degree — I understand it to be an extractive industry, and one where the people made wealthy are not the same ones who risk their lives in their daily work. Coal has a presence here, but it’s not all we are. We are everything from downtown Charleston ArtWalk nights where all the galleries are open… to morning spiderwebs on fence posts covered with dew. Mindset has much to do with quality of life, no matter where one lives. I love Charleston, love West Virginia, love my home.

Jan 10, 2014 10:05am EST  --  Report as abuse

How is this not first page news?

Jan 10, 2014 10:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
TheInsomniac wrote:

RE: USAPragmatist2

Because the media is still focused on the Christie bridge scandal. They’re kind of like 6-year-olds on a soccer field, all running to the ball, with no idea where the goal is. They don’t have the collective capacity to give good coverage to another story in any given week.

Jan 10, 2014 11:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

The company is cooperating? Like…. when someone 3 miles downstream had to call in and report the strange odor. And they traced it back up to this blown-out solvent tank spilling into the river above the city….. but no one at the company noticed it?

Yeah cooperating. OK. See what a civil suit for damages thinks about their ‘cooperating.’

Industry will police itself. Of course they will :)

Jan 10, 2014 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
misterhonesty wrote:

Hmmm, lets see, bottled water sales fell off so, ……dot dot dot

Jan 10, 2014 1:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@whymelord

“As a result of environment destroying coal strip-mining for years on end in West Virginia, there isn’t a drop of water there fit to drink.
So what’s a little more pollution to them; they thrive on adversity.
They run environmentalists out of their communities and refuse help except when there’s a catastrophe or something, and they need money.
“Coalminer’s daughter” has a lot to say about their sad way of life.
Coal gave them a chance for a better life, but now it’s killing them.
GOP/NRA/TEA party activists lobbying against the EPA are responsible.”

I am originally from Charleston, WV. You can drive 40 minutes and find clean water to drink, this doesn’t affect the whole state. The water company serving the metroplolitan area of Charleston set the advisory. That company does not serve the whole state. The EPA has not been shut down by the GOP or Tea Party you clown, they haven’t even been curtailed. So the government once again failed to protect us. There are no strip in mines in Kanawha County, there is one coal mine that I know of, it is a large underground operation. It is also many miles from where there is incident occurred and has nothing to do with it. What is at issue is the Elk river and Kanawha river are used heavily for transportation of various chemicals and coal on barges. One of the storage tanks along the elk river had something go wrong, leaking the chemical into the river that the Water company uses for its water.

This isn’t an issue of pollution, strip mining, or the GOP attacking the EPA. It is an accident that shouldn’t have happened but did. Your ignorance on the whole subject is not surprising. Most of your posts show you have no clue what you are talking about.

Jan 10, 2014 4:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState

“The company is cooperating? Like…. when someone 3 miles downstream had to call in and report the strange odor. And they traced it back up to this blown-out solvent tank spilling into the river above the city….. but no one at the company noticed it?”

It was a storage tank sitting beside the river. Not a chemical facility manufacturing the chemical. I hate to tell you this, but no one keeps people stationed at every storage tank in America to keep watch. The people living closest would have been the first to notice it. I grew up fishing on Elk River and Kanawha River. The Kanawha River Valley used to be the largest chemical valley in the country. I believe Texas took over several decades ago, but growing up in that area you are used to nasty smells. I don’t miss it in the least.

Interesting trivia tidbit for you. Antifreeze was discovered in the Kanwha River near Charleston due to the Kanawha River not freezing over around the Union Carbide Plant in the first half of the 20th century. Sad but true.

Jan 10, 2014 4:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mylena wrote:

The residents of this place must hire a good lawyer. Those kind of accidents bring to population sickness ( cancer and another health disorders).God help us of no professionals leading those projects.

Jan 10, 2014 4:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

@NewWorld, I Didn’t say it was a chemical manufacturing facility. I said there is liability and responsibility that goes along with storing commercial quantities of haz materials…. in rusty tanks near the river. And yes, if you’re going to do that, you need to be checking them daily. It’s not the end of the world, but it is negligence costing businesses a lot of money in outages downstream.

Jan 10, 2014 5:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:

It’s incredible that the W. Va DoE found the leak before Freedom Industries did . . . Is that part of this story correct? If so, Freedom is probably in deep KIMSHE, and rightfully so!

Don’t they have any employees at the site where the leak occurred with noses? Didn’t they smell it? Didn’t their control system(s) tell them they were leaking product somewhere?

Jan 10, 2014 5:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
lilbear68 wrote:

and which prepper is crazy now?

Jan 10, 2014 5:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@AlkalineState and @JamVee

It isn’t acceptable that it happened. Someone should have to pay heavily for this incident. I was just saying it was a tank that had the spill rather than a facility, and no one sits and watches storage tanks all day. There should have been some type of alarm system that triggered when this started, however, it is not uncommon for people living close by to contact 911 before anyone can respond to an automated alarm system.

I used to work with water and waste-water pump stations. You drive by them all the time. There will be a control panel with a red emergency light at the top. In the older days when an alarm triggered the light was all that there was, and it could be up to a day before someone knew about it. Now you have text messaging and phone alarm systems, and even better integrated systems that all report back to a central location that can monitor each of the sites.

I would imagine there is some serious requirements on the storage of this chemical when it comes to alarm systems and monitoring. If there was no type of alarm system on the tank, they should be ran out of business with all of the fines, and some people should be facing jail time. This is a chemical valley, and the people there are familiar with airborne chemical leaks, but I can not remember a case of this magnitude. I am actually pretty shocked at the short sightedness of having this chemical stored upstream from the water facility. There are plenty of chemical plants and storage tanks on the Kanawha river where they could have been stored and not been a danger to the water plant.

If anyone is interested go to google maps and search for charleston town center. South of it is the kanawha river, west/north west is the elk river. Go up a few blocks on the elk river and there is the water company, go further up and you will see storage tanks at several locations. They basically use them to brink stuff down on rail, and then put them on barges to go down to the Kanawha and from there it can go to the ohio river and any of its tributaries or on to the Mississippi.

Jan 10, 2014 6:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

@newworld, well-stated. And frankly, the simple lack of secondary containment, that close to the river, above a public drinking water intake is pretty dodgy. Someone should have caught that a long time ago. This one is a head-roller, for the both the outfit and the regulators.

Jan 10, 2014 7:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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