Citizen Groups Unite to Demand Water Justice

Feb 10, 2016

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Representatives from 37 citizen groups fighting for “water justice” met Tuesday at the Capitol to release a letter of solidarity with Flint, Michigan.

The letter, dated February 9th, parallels the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis with the water crisis currently unfolding in Flint.

“Two years ago, we stood in those same lines, visited local emergency rooms, and demonstrated in the halls of power because our water, too had been poisoned," it says. Crystal Good, a West Virginian who had been affected by the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis read the letter at Tuesday’s press conference.

The letter and subsequent speeches from group leaders also called for government accountability and the protection of safe drinking water in West Virginia.

“Working together across race and class in the aftermath of this disaster, we are making real change. We don’t have all the answers, but we are gaining ground for safe, reliable water here in West Virginia, as you are in Flint, Michigan,” concluded the letter.

Other speakers called for The Public Service Commission to continue their investigation of what went wrong in West Virginia in 2014 and for congressional members to pass, instead of block, proposed federal water protections.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.