Industrial Chemicals Still Showing Up in West Virginia Water (and More Ways You Can Help)

You could certainly be forgiven for thinking everything’s been cleared up with the spill of industrial chemicals in West Virginia’s Elk River last month; the mainstream media has certainly moved on to other, more pressing stories… you know, like the toilets in Sochi, Russia. Despite the general lack of coverage, the safety of drinking water in Charleston and surrounding areas is far from certain: as the article below from Environmental News Service notes, testing is still finding Crude MCHM in drinking water.  Yes, we’re talking about small amounts… but would you want be the first to switch back to tap water knowing this?

There’s plenty of blame to go around, from the company that spilled the chemicals themselves to the broader, historic lack of transparency from most facets of the coal mining industry. I certainly support those trying to get to the bottom of this, and will let them do their work. In the meantime, I want to continue to recognize efforts to help West Virginians who are afraid for their families’ health and safety.  A few more resources:

  • Researchers from the University of South Alabama have been on the ground in Charleston conducting water tests, and would like to return to do more in-home water testing. They’ve set up a donation page to crowdfund this portion of their work; they’ve already received some grant funding from the National Science Foundation.
  • If you want to keep an eye on what’s happening on the ground in Charleston in terms of responding to this crisis, I’ve yet to find a better source than Our Water WV. “Independent West Virginians” Cathy Kunkel, Bill Howley, and Caitlin Howley aren’t missing much in terms of political action (or lack thereof), and citizens’ responses to the crisis.

Got other news from the Charleston area about the water situation? Know of ways the rest of us can help out West Virginias still dealing with this crisis? Let us know about them.

West Virginia’s Water Nightmare Closes Schools (via Environment News Service)

CHARLESTON, West Virginia, February 7, 2014 (ENS) – Crude MCHM, one of two chemicals that leaked into West Virginia’s Elk River last month, was detected in the water supply of George Washington High School this morning, according to Kanawha-Charleston…

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