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tatee View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:22pm

West Virginia Declares State Of Emergency After Coal Chemical Contaminates Drinking Water

By Kiley Kroh on January 10, 2014 at 9:31 am

"West Virginia Declares State Of Emergency After Coal Chemical Contaminates Drinking Water"


Shopper gets the last few bottles of water at the Kroger in South Charleston, WV following the chemical spill on the Elk River.

Shopper gets the last few bottles of water at the Kroger in South Charleston, WV following the chemical spill on the Elk River.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Tyler Evert

Residents of nine counties in West Virginia have been told not to use or drink their water after a chemical used by the coal industry spilled into the Elk River on Thursday. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency as more than 100,000 customers, or 300,000 people, are without safe drinking water.

“Don’t make baby formula,” said West Virginia American Water Company president Jeff McIntyre. “Don’t brush your teeth. Don’t shower. Toilet flushing only.”

The chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), is used to wash coal of impurities and spilled from a tank at Freedom Industries into the river. While the amount of MCHM that spilled wasn’t immediately known, West Virginia American Water has been conducting water quality testing every hour. According to Laura Jordan, a spokesperson with the water company, they believe the chemical is leaking at ground level and “there is a possibility this leak has been going on for sometime before it was discovered Thursday,” WSAZ reported.

Local officials described MCHM as smelling like licorice and looking like “cooking oil floating on top of the water.” The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said symptoms of MCHM exposure include “severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering.

Though the spill occurred Thursday morning, West Virginia American Water didn’t provide its customers with a warning until evening and, as Al Jazeera reported, several were angered by the lack of information, particularly regarding what should be done if they had already used or ingested the water.

Early Friday, Tomblin announced that the White House approved a federal emergency declaration to help with the urgent water situation. Soon after the governor’s declaration on Thursday, residents flooded local stores for bottled water and disposable dishes. “It was chaos, that’s what it was,” cashier Danny Cardwell told CBS News.

West Virginia American Water has emphasized that once contaminated by MCHM, the water cannot be treated. As a result, schools in at least five of the counties will be closed Friday and hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes and other establishments in the area are also banned from using their water as the entire system is flushed out and testing continues. As of early Friday, Freedom Industries, “a full service producer of specialty chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries,” had yet to comment on the spill.


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/10/3145221/west-virginia-emergency-coal-chemical-spill/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote QueenBee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:35pm
Though the spill occurred Thursday morning, West Virginia American Water didn’t provide its customers with a warning until evening and, as Al Jazeera reported, several were angered by the lack of information, particularly regarding what should be done if they had already used or ingested the water.
*********
Saw this on the news....sad that the people were crowding the stores trying to buy bottle water and various beverages.  Some stores were putting a limit on the number of cases people could purchase.
I felt bad for the mom who had a newborn that had gone to 3 or 4 stores trying to get water to make formula.
 
 IMO, the company should send travel trailors and provide FREE bottled water to the nine counties. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote BrownQtee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:38pm
I agree^^ water should not be paid for by those residents.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (20) Thanks(20)   Quote maysay1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:39pm
If one of these water companies like fiji, dasasni, and whoever were really smart they'd be out there with truckloads of free water for the community. Build some brand loyalty.

Do like Tide does during storm aftermath and set up free laundry facilities with good water. Dove should get in there and set up some showers.

They would have customers for life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (8) Thanks(8)   Quote HaitianDiva64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:48pm
That is smart. I would buy from the company that did that
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Faithfully2002 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 4:57pm
What a shame smdh.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote indiecat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 5:15pm
I agree with maysay, someone should write these companies and other states should start donating water and other items they may need and sending it over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 7:38pm
Originally posted by maysay1 maysay1 wrote:

If one of these water companies like fiji, dasasni, and whoever were really smart they'd be out there with truckloads of free water for the community. Build some brand loyalty.

Do like Tide does during storm aftermath and set up free laundry facilities with good water. Dove should get in there and set up some showers.

They would have customers for life.


great idea.

I've been following this in the news.


Edited by PurplePhase - Jan 10 2014 at 7:39pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (11) Thanks(11)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 7:45pm
*pretends to care about white people*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (10) Thanks(10)   Quote SoutherNtellect Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 10 2014 at 7:53pm
only white people live in west virginia? 
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