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Spill A Blow To W.Va. Economy

It Could Be Days for Water To Be Ready

January 12, 2014

CHARLESTON — On the third day without clean tap water, business owners with empty dining rooms and quiet aisles of merchandise around West Virginia’s capital were left to wonder how much of an......

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(69)

uglyassmf

Jan-12-14 1:19 AM

that's what concerns me about all this oil and gas drilling. There are so many mine shafts around here just one mistake underground could send fluid to who knows where.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 3:24 AM

It will be a political excuse for 2-3 years in WV!

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LogHog

Jan-12-14 5:50 AM

crystal clear water and air.. wonder what it would have been like to live back when America had these. Before the white man came from Europe. The struggle to survive then was more basic. Like the hunt for food and some fighting of other tribes, without all the lung problems and the worry of finding clear water to drink. Where could one go now to find clean air and untainted water? Maybe to the Nations. If so, we will once again see the white man try to take away Indian land at some point and then poison it.

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mikeyd

Jan-12-14 6:27 AM

and the owner was in a hurry to fly out of there.he probably drinks bottled water anyhow.if you are the president or owner you should be around once in a while to inspect your business.who will pay for this mess?log,you gotta watch blaming the white man.i've had people condemn me on here for saying almost the same thing.but it is true.the white man likes money.i just want to see if this company pays for this or if we the taxpayers get the shaft.let's watch our government in action.

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daWraith

Jan-12-14 8:03 AM

Glad that it IS in the state capital. If it were Wheeling, a bunch of politicos would blow into town and pontificate on how they are going to fix the problem, then go back home and hide.

Maybe if it is in Government's FACE 24-7 we can see how powerless they really ARE.

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LogHog

Jan-12-14 8:27 AM

Mikeyd, yes I know... I have much White man blood also. I was referring to a thought of wanting to be able to go back to a time when my Native American people were many. I really don't just blame the white man. Actually most of us, if we look it, have mixed blood lines. Environmental disasters seem to be happening more all the time. I do think it is coming due to people's greed and to the lack of respect of our surroundings. Like. why does a company built a massive containment basin for possible spills? When it makes more money to just cut corners? It's more than Govt. controls that is needed. Mother earth has been very forgiving. But at some point all the pollution being dumped into her may be man kinds downfall.

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LogHog

Jan-12-14 8:33 AM

I do expect this company to have very limited responsibility for paying for the disaster they caused. here will be some "legal" way for them to squirm out of it.

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RockEReputation

Jan-12-14 8:47 AM

If Freedom just purchased the plant from its parent company, and had placed a cool $1 million in escrow to deal with containment issues....but had been just too busy to do so?

Lighten up, its but a minor inconvenience to the public in an Ayn Rand success story.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 8:58 AM

rocky, Now you will get to see how your so loved D political machine works in West Virginia!

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RockEReputation

Jan-12-14 9:31 AM

loved D political machine worka???

With your beloved capitalists gouging the affected with $18 a case bottled water, we see how that machine works.

What's the going rate gonna be to repair home water filtrations systems and change out tainted hot water heaters?...Whatever the market dictates?

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:33 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last February, Freedom Industries sent state officials a form telling them the company stored thousands of pounds of a coal-cleaning chemical called 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol in the storage tanks at its Etowah River Terminal.

The facility, along the Elk River not far from downtown Charleston, is about 1.5 miles upstream from the intake West Virginia American Water uses to supply drinking water for 300,000 residents across the capital city and the surrounding region.

Freedom Industries filed its "Tier 2" form under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. State emergency response officials got a copy. So did emergency planners and responders from Kanawha County.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:34 AM

Under the law, government officials are supposed to use chemical inventory information on Tier 2 forms, like Freedom Industries', to prepare for potential accidents.

Armed with the forms, they know what facilities could explode, where large quantities of dangerous substances are stockpiled, and what industries could pose threats to things such as drinking water supplies. They can plan how to evacuate residents, fight fires or contain toxic leaks.

On Thursday morning, an unknown amount of the chemical leaked from one of Freedom Industries' tanks into the Elk River. By late afternoon, West Virginia American Water was warning residents across a nine-county region not only not to drink their water, but also not to use it for anything except flushing toilets or fighting fires.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:35 AM

Now, all manner of federal, state and local agencies are rushing to truck in water and otherwise see to residents' needs, following Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's declaration of a "state of emergency" and President Obama's order to provide federal assistance.

Those same agencies and public officials, though, have said they know little about the chemical involved. They're all acting a bit surprised that this mystery substance was being stockpiled so close to a crucial water intake, and shocked that something like this could have happened.

Water company officials are equally puzzled. For example, West Virginia American Water President Jeff McIntyre told reporters on Friday that his company didn't know much about the chemical's possible dangers, wasn't aware of an effective treatment process, and wasn't even sure exactly how much 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol is too much.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:36 AM

"We're still trying to work through the [material safety data sheet] to try to understand the risk assessment of this product," McIntyre said during a Friday-morning news conference. "We don't know that the water is not safe. But I can't say that it is safe."

McIntyre said his company hadn't at that point had any contact directly with Freedom Industries, and he wasn't able to identify any previous efforts by the two firms to work together on emergency response planning.

"I can't answer that question," McIntyre said when asked about such planning. "I don't have that information."

Fred Millar, a longtime chemical industry watchdog in Washington, D.C., said the lack of better planning was an example of how the landmark emergency response law hasn't been properly enforced around the country.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:37 AM

rockhead, That $18 per bottled water would be compliments of the tax payer through federal/state contracts!

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 9:44 AM

rockhead, So the tax payers should buy new filtration systems and hot water heaters for the "private" industry mistake? Why do you peeps think it's my job to take care of all the peeps? You can read the posts that explain the lack of "planning" in the Kanawha Valley. Kind of make you wonder about the planning in the Ohio Valley! I'm sure a lot of money has been spent, just doubt that the planning is enough!

Keep believing in a central goberment! As they say ALL politics are local.....

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RockEReputation

Jan-12-14 9:52 AM

"the tax payers should buy new filtration systems and hot water heaters"

Sorry but there's bo debating nonexistent logic centered in an inabilty to comprehend my comment.

But even if you did understand my point, I;m sure you could only reduce the argument to liberal takers bucking the system on the taxpayer dime and some political excuses for 2-3 years.

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RockEReputation

Jan-12-14 10:01 AM

"$18 per bottled water would be compliments of the tax payer through federal/state contracts"

You are clueless...its panhandlers trucking it in from out-of-area and selling it to the desperate folks without potable water.

Unless you're prepared to announce that Obama has put price tags on the delivered government water so as to increase the Democrat elections war chest.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:12 AM

Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act following the deaths of thousands of people in a Union Carbide chemical leak in Bhopal, India, and a much smaller incident that injured 135 Carbide neighbors in Institute. Since then, local officials in both government and industry in the Kanawha Valley have said that the area has one of the best emergency planning processes in the country.

Asked late last week how much planning county officials had done for a possible leak from Freedom Industries into the region's water supply, Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper was blunt.

"Not enough," Carper said. But Carper also pointed the finger at the water company, saying West Virginia American certainly knew Freedom Industries was there and should have prepared for an accident like this one.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:12 AM

As the state of emergency continues, a wide variety of elected officials and government agencies are issuing statements to respond.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, for example, sent out a news release to remind employers that they must provide potable water for drinking and hand-washing in the workplace.

OSHA said it started an inspection Friday morning at Freedom Industries to "assess any potential worker safety and health issues related to the incident."

But the release also noted that the operation "does not have OSHA history," meaning -- as confirmed by a review of OSHA data -- that federal workplace safety officials have never inspected the site.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:14 AM

OSHA inspectors started to examine the facility in November 2009 as part of a program of special emphasis looking at accidents that prompted amputations, records show. But they discovered that Freedom Industries was in the wrong industry classification for that program, and they never did the inspection, said OSHA spokeswoman Lenore Uddyback-Fortson.

Terri White, a regional spokeswoman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said in a prepared statement that the EPA had deployed personnel to assist with water sampling and to offer "additional assistance" to the state. But White refused to make any EPA officials involved in the effort available for an interview.

During a news conference Friday, Tomblin had harsh words for Freedom Industries. "This discharge of pollutants is unacceptable," the governor told reporters.

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:14 AM

Too little too late! Funny how that central goberment thing works!

Since the discovery of the leak on Thursday, state Department of Environmental Protection inspectors have taken three different enforcement actions against Freedom Industries over alleged water and air pollution violations at the Elk River site.

But agency officials concede that their discovery of the leak marked the first time DEP inspectors had been at the site in more than 20 years.

Initially, the DEP reported that it had no permits for the operation, and that Freedom Industries did not require any permits. The DEP said the company did not manufacture any products, that the operation was "chiefly a storage facility" with "no emissions" and that "the materials it stores are not considered hazardous."

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:17 AM

rockhead, The state and federal goberment have issued a state of emergency in the Kanawha Valley, tax payers will be paying for the water at the end of the day!

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dyingov

Jan-12-14 10:29 AM

send a link that shows that the water is being sold! Thanks!

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TrollSlayer

Jan-12-14 10:40 AM

RockERefutation “With your beloved capitalists gouging the affected with $18 a case bottled water blah blah blah”

OffYourRockEr, here’s what capitalists are doing. They do this sort of thing at every disaster. How much water did you donate, RockE?

From the WV State Journal “Burns, who owns Burns Chevrolet in Rock Hill, S.C., contacted Joe Holland Chevrolet in South Charleston. The purpose – to organize a donation of bottled water to help West Virginians. Trucks containing several pallets of bottled water arrived at about 3 p.m. Jan. 11 as three drivers drove the water up I-77 to its destination. Soon after, people began lining up at Joe Holland Chevrolet to pick up a case of safe drinking water from the Palmetto State.”

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