Elk River Chemical Spill

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A revised class-action settlement plan is back before a federal judge deciding how to pay victims of a chemical spill that left people without tap water for up to 9 days.

The drinking water of about 300,000 people in the greater Charleston area was contaminated in January 2014 when a chemical used to clean coal spilled from a storage tank at the now-defunct Freedom Industries, polluting the Elk River upstream from the system's water intake.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's Public Service Commission on Thursday issued a final settlement order closing its investigation into West Virginia American Water's role in a chemical spill and resulting water crisis in the Charleston area in January 2014.

Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 people in nine counties without water for up to nine days. Businesses in the state's largest drinking water system were temporarily shut. Hundreds of people headed to emergency rooms for issues from nausea to rashes after contact with tap water that smelled like licorice.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

More than three months after a tentative settlement was announced, lawyers are still trying to work out documents to spell out terms of a $151 million deal resolving a class-action lawsuit over a West Virginia chemical spill that tainted a local water system.

Lawyers for area residents and businesses, West Virginia American Water Co. and Eastman Chemical met for nearly two hours Tuesday with U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. The purpose was to discuss "the progress of finalization of the settlement agreement," according to a court docket entry that offered no other details of the closed-door conference.

Water Crisis Settlement Explained

Jan 30, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, two stories about water quality.  Host Beth Vorhees talks with Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter Ken Ward about another legal settlement resulting from the water crisis and in Martin County, Kentucky many residents are worried about the quality of their water.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Monday marks the third anniversary of the Elk River chemical spill that left more than 300,000 West Virginians without usable drinking water for more than a week.  The leak  originated at Freedom Industries just outside of Charleston.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A former Putnam County Public Service District employee says West Virginia American Water Company should have closed its intake at the Kanawha Valley plant after the Freedom Industries chemical spill three years ago.

Former South Putnam Public Service District general manager Fred Stottlemyer testified Thursday before the state Public Service Commission as part of the investigation into the handling of the January 2014 chemical leak.

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

Since July 1, the state Bureau for Public Health has been holding public hearings across West Virginia to discuss proposed Source Water Protection Plans.

The plans are the result of legislation approved after a 2014 chemical spill in Charleston left hundreds of thousands of people without usable drinking water for days.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has scheduled a formal evidentiary hearing as part of its investigation of a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people.

 

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24-26 at the commission's headquarters in Charleston. The commission also scheduled two hearings to take public comment on Jan. 17 at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra profiles Jim Justice, the Democratic candidate for Governor and host Beth Vorhees talks with Ken Ward from the Charleston Gazette-Mail about the settlements reached in the water crisis from 2014.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge has tentatively approved a $151 million settlement involving two companies sued over a 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in southern West Virginia.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver approved the proposed deal Monday afternoon after more than two hours of closed-door negotiations on the wording of the agreement.

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.

Trial Over 2014 Chemical Spill Set to Begin

Oct 24, 2016
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jury selection begins Tuesday in Charleston in the class-action lawsuit against a chemical company and a water utility. 

The trial over a 2014 chemical spill that resulted in the contamination of more than 300,000 people’s drinking water is set to begin this week. 

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A judge has ruled against local workers who sued a water company to recoup wages lost during a January 2014 chemical spill.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board approved recommendations last night that were the result of an investigation into a 2014 Charleston chemical leak. 

The leak spurred a tap water ban for more than 300,000 West Virginians. Before the vote, the board heard directly from members of the public who were affected by the leak. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Chemical Safety Board voted Wednesday evening to approve the final report and recommendations that were the result of a more than two and a half year investigation into a Charleston chemical leak.

The leak, which was discovered January 9, 2014, spurred a tap water ban for more than 300, 000 West Virginians for as many as ten days.

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.

Elk River Chemical spill
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Federal government scientists have released a final update of their study of the January 2014 chemical spill that temporarily fouled the drinking water supplies of 300,000 Charleston-area residents, reporting no significant new findings.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The trial for a class-action lawsuit over a West Virginia chemical spill that polluted 300,000 people's drinking water has been rescheduled for October.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver in Charleston announced the Oct. 25 trial date Thursday.

Freedom Industries
AP

President Barack Obama signed the first overhaul of toxic chemical rules in 40 years into law today. West Virginia's Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic senator Joe Manchin are applauding the action.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

The state Public Service Commission has set a date for a hearing involving a lawsuit filed against a water company and a manufacturer that sold a chemical to a company involved in a massive spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports commissioners issued an order scheduling an evidentiary hearing in the investigation for Nov. 15-17.

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