West Virginia: Water still unsafe after Elk River chemical spill

Below are two articles from Benji Pyles, a West Virginia, FIST activist on the current Chemical Spill Crisis.


Waiting in line at a water truck in Charleston, W.Va., Jan. 10.

Charleston, W.Va., Jan. 19 — A chemical spill into the nearby Elk River has caused hundreds of local residents to be hospitalized. Now, 10 days after the initial spill, many of the 300,000 people who had to avoid tap water since Jan. 9 find it is still contaminated. People are still being burned and suffering respiratory stress and nausea when using the water after it was deemed safe.

Thousands of gallons of crude methyl cylcohexane methanol (MCHM) had oozed through a porous containment wall from a Freedom Industries’ containment tank into the river and subsequently passed into a water facility intake that serves the 300,000 area residents with tap water. The tanks had not been inspected since 1991.