West Virginia chemical spill shuts down capital city, water supplies

Sponsored by


Jan. 10, 2013 -- On Thursday, Jan. 9, a significant chemical spill occurred along the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., shutting down the majority of the city and affecting about 300,000 people.

The discharge originated at Freedom Industries, a provider of specialty chemicals for the mining, steel and cement sectors, where a 48,000-gallon tank at the site leaked 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), a chemical used to clean mining equipment. Authorities believe that as much as 10,000 gallons of the chemical was released into the environment.

According to a release from West Virginia American Water Company, the contamination has affected the entire Kanawha Valley water system, including Kanawha, Boone and parts of Putnam counties. Jeff McIntyre, president of the organization, noted in a statement that American Water doesn't know if the water is safe to use but is continuing to conduct tests of its quality.

The incident prompted Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to issue a state of emergency for nine counties and President Barack Obama to declare an emergency on Friday, Jan. 10.

Those 300,000 residents affected by the contamination were told on Friday not to consume or use the water until authorities can conclude when it is safe. Consequently, local stores and vendors distributed clean bottled water to them but are quickly running out of supplies.

West Virginia American Water stated in a release that it is not shutting off water to any customers as a result of the "do not use" order currently in place in the Kanawha Valley system. The company is receiving widespread customer reports of false automated calls claiming that West Virginia American Water is shutting off water and advising customers to fill their bathtubs, etc.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

New USGS publications unveil historical hydraulic fracturing trends and data

The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that two new publications highlighting historical hydraulic fracturing trends and data from 1947 to 2010 are now available.

Contegra Construction to expand, renovate Illinois WTP in $7.9M project

Contegra Construction has been selected to renovate and expand the water treatment plant that serves the city of Roxana, Ill.

American Rivers reports 72 dam removals for 2014, sets goal to 75 for 2015

According to new information from American Rivers, communities in 19 states removed 72 dams in 2014, restoring more than 730 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and people. This year, the organization is setting a goal of 75 dam removals.

EPA awarding $1M in grants to help protect, restore vital U.S. wetlands

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will soon award $1 million in grants to strengthen the capacity of states and tribes to protect and restore vital wetlands across the nation.  

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA