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West Virginia chemical spill
cuts water supply for thousands

Reuters, by Mary Wisniewski

Original Article

Posted By:muncsdad, 1/9/2014 9:45:06 PM

About 100,000 homes and businesses in West Virginia were being told on Thursday not to use tap water for drinking, cooking or bathing following a chemical spill along the Elk River in Charleston, the state´s capital, according to local officials. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency for five counties as a result of the spill of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used in the coal industry. Health officials were advising residents only to use the water for flushing and fire fighting. The spill originated with Freedom Industries, a Charleston company, according to Laura Jordan, external affairs manageer for

Comments:
I have talked with friends in WV who are deep into this disaster and it could be really, really bad. Please pray for our fellow citizens who are facing a very serious problem now that could be a long-term calamity.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: oh-heck, 1/9/2014 11:33:15 PM     (No. 9686492)

From what is in the news, this shouldn´t have happened. Chemical tanks should have secondary containment systems capable of handling the contents of the tank. Its inconceivable that the permit for the storage tank didn´t foresee such an undetected leak that overflowed the containment system into a river just upstream from a water supply intake.

Since the chemical is so easily separated from the water, it should be a matter of logistics to treat the water already in the water system, rinse out the treatments plant, and restart the water supply. The water from each home and business will need to be treated to remove the chemical so that the river downstream from the town isn´t further contaminated.

Management of Freedom Industries could be criminally liable for failure to comply with the Resource Conservation Recovery Act which covers the treatment of hazardous waste. As soon as a chemical leaks from a tank it becomes hazardous waste and it is a violation if it is allowed to get into surrounding ground or water.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Earlgrey, 1/10/2014 1:52:40 AM     (No. 9686529)

Sounds like step one in Obaby´s plan to transform the coal industry.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Timber Queen, 1/10/2014 2:18:00 AM     (No. 9686533)

#2 - I´m thinking along the same lines. It seems that train derailments, chemical spills, and plant explosions are happening all over the country and in every type of industry. I thought of "Atlas Shrugged" when the infrastructure started falling apart.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Attercliffe, 1/10/2014 10:43:20 AM     (No. 9686913)

Dreadful, could happen anywhere there´s a drinking water source. We do worry about it a bit because we live very close to a local reservoir.

Yes, we have emergency water supplies and purifiers, although the outside barrels are empty because of recent freezing weather.

I really do feel for those with children and older folks to care for.

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