Chemical Leak

Freedom Industries
AP

Residents and businesses in nine West Virginia counties left without tap water during a 2014 chemical spill can start filing claims.

According to a website set up to handle claims, forms were being accepted both online and by mail started Wednesday.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge in West Virginia has declined to grant preliminary approval of a $151 million settlement of class-action litigation stemming from the January 2014 water crisis, saying he wanted changes made to the deal.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The House voted on a bill Wednesday that aligns West Virginia's standards for some discharges into the state’s waters with federal limits. Opponents say the bill could put West Virginia’s drinking water supply at risk, but supporters maintain it has the potential to attract new industry to the state.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

A federal judge in West Virginia has ordered attorneys in a class-action lawsuit involving a chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia in 2014 to revise a tentative settlement.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston was critical of the proposed deal Monday. He said he's concerned it doesn't make clear that West Virginia American Water Co. won't seek a rate increase to recoup the costs of settling the lawsuit.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A proposed settlement has been reached between Charleston residents and a chemical company accused of not doing enough to safeguard West Virginia's capital city from a spill that polluted the drinking water of 300,000 people in 2014.

According to court officials, attorneys for Eastman Chemical and Charleston-area residents and businesses proposed the settlement. Eastman is producer of a coal-cleaning agent that spilled.

Freedom Industries
AP

A board of federal investigators is releasing its findings about a chemical spill into the water supply of 300,000 people in West Virginia almost three years ago.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will discuss the results of its investigation into the Freedom Industries spill Wednesday evening. The group's public meeting will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton in Charleston.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The executive in charge during a water-tainting chemical spill in 2014 wants a judge to approve his class-action lawsuit settlement.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that on Tuesday, ex-Freedom Industries official Gary Southern asked U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver in Charleston to approve his settlement.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

House and Senate negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to set safety standards for tens of thousands of chemicals that have gone unregulated for decades.

The bill would offer new protections for pregnant women, children and workers who are vulnerable to the effects of chemicals such as formaldehyde and styrene used in homes and businesses every day. The bill also would tighten restrictions on asbestos and other deadly chemicals.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An executive charged in a chemical spill that contaminated West Virginia's biggest drinking water supply is expected to plead guilty.

Former Freedom Industries executive Dennis Farrell is expected to enter the plea Tuesday morning in Charleston federal court in front of Judge Thomas Johnston.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Prosecutors oppose a motion by former executives asking a judge to move their criminal case over a chemical spill.

In Charleston federal court Thursday, prosecutors wrote that ex-Freedom Industries officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell didn't sufficiently prove that public sentiment over a water crisis is so prejudiced that fair and impartial jurors can't be found in southern West Virginia.

photo by Cecelia Mason

Appalachia is no stranger to industrial or environmental disasters that affect our water. Because of crumbling water infrastructure in many coalfield communities, folks often turn to bottled water for regular use.

But not all bottled water is equal. At least that’s according to judges at the 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting & Competition, which took place February 19-22. The competition judges the taste of bottled water, purified water, and municipal city waters from across the world were judged.

January 2nd of 2014 the Lisby Pad explosion spilled an unknown amount of "black sludge" associated with a horizontal drilling site in Tyler County into a feeder stream of a local municipality's source water stream.
Bill Hughes

 

State senators in Charleston took action this week to roll back aboveground tank regulations put in place after last year’s chemical spill which contaminated water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

wvva.com

Lewisburg is asking its water customers to conserve water following a diesel fuel spill.

WVWaterHistory.com

An online interactive documentary launches today. WVWaterHistory.com outlines history that lead up to the Charleston water crisis of 2014 which left 300,000 for over a week without water. The site also explores other water challenges the state has and continues to face.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It was some ten days before all of the families affected by the tap water ban following Charleston’s chemical spill were able to return to life as usual within their homes. And many did just that, once again drinking, cooking and bathing with water straight from the tap. The same, however, can’t be said for every family in the valley including Lida Shepherd, who says she still won’t drink the water.

Mike Youngren / Presidio Studios in Lewisburg

Mike Youngren has lived in Charleston for the last 20 years. A West Virginia Public Broadcasting alum, Youngren pursued filmmaking after retiring. When the January 9th chemical leak happened, Youngren decided the problem was widespread enough for people to stop to pay attention to what he had to say. With this in mind, he decided to develop his documentary, Elk River Blues.

Elk River Chemical spill
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Leaders of citizen groups, a water scientist and an impacted mother held a phone-based news conference this week to look back on the crisis and outline the progress, pitfalls and next steps in their work to ensure safe drinking water for all West Virginians.

WOWK

A judge has heard arguments over recusing prosecutors from a case charging former executives in a chemical spill.

In Charleston federal court Monday, ex-Freedom Industries executives Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell claimed U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office and family members were victims of the company's spill and have conflicts of interest. Last January's spill left 300,000 residents without tap water for days.

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Dozens of West Virginia residents have filed lawsuits against chemical company DuPont for contaminating drinking water.

WOWK

Federal prosecutors want a former executive charged in a January chemical spill on home confinement with electronic monitoring.

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