Elk River Chemical Spill

4:10 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

DEP, DHHR: Chemical Leak Legal Action Now Moot

Near the beginning of February, public interest groups Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Mountain State Justice filed an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court against DHHR and DEP for not adequately responding to public concerns after the January 9 leak by Freedom Industries. In response to the petition, the two agencies now point to legislation passed in response to the spill.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
DEP, DHHR: Chemical leak legal action now moot CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two Tomblin administration agencies are arguing that passage of new legislation aimed at avoiding a repeat of January's Elk River chemical leak makes moot a legal action accusing those agencies of inaction to prevent such disasters.
Chemical Leak
3:54 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

DEP Cites Company That Moved Chemicals for Freedom Industries

Credit AP

West Virginia regulators have issued notices of environmental violations to a company that cleaned up and hauled a chemical from the site of a spill which contaminated the tap water of 300,000 residents.
 
The Department of Environmental Protection said Friday it issued two violations to Diversified Services LLC in St. Albans after a sheen was detected in a drainage system that empties into a tributary of the Kanawha River.

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Around The Nation
6:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Months Later, West Virginians Remain Wary Of Water That Smells

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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Around the Nation
4:47 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

For A New View On The West Virginia Spill, Follow The Elk River

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm

In early January, West Virginia's Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill near Charleston. NPR's Noah Adams returns to the Elk nearly two months later to follow the course of the river.

Water Concerns
3:08 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Basketball Players, Fans Bring High Hopes and Water Bottles to Charleston

Many visitors to Charleston this week for the girls state basketball tournament still don't trust the tap water.
Credit Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

The four-day West Virginia Girls state basketball tournament began Wednesday and many athletes and fans say they came to Charleston anxious about taking showers and drinking tap water.

After reading about the city's water issues since the Jan. 9 chemical  spill into the Elk River, which fouled the air with licorice-smelling water, those arriving from outside the spill zone are making their own decisions on bottled versus tap water at area hotels and restaurants.

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Chemical Leak
9:40 am
Thu March 13, 2014

W.Va. Delegation Urges President, FEMA to Support Governor Tomblin’s Appeal

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Representatives Nick Rahall, Shelley Moore Capito, and David McKinley, asked President Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate to reconsider a recent decision by FEMA and appealed this week by Governor Earl Ray Tombin, which denied West Virginia’s request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures following the January 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.

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Chemical Leak
5:09 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Freedom Industries Submits First Phase of Tank Decommission Plan

Credit AP

Freedom Industries has submitted the first phase of the Tank Decommission Plan for its Charleston facility, site of the Jan. 9 chemical spill of MCHM into the Elk River.

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Chemical Leak
7:26 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Gov. Tomblin Appeals FEMA Denial of Federal Assistance for Elk River Spill

Credit Scott Finn / Twitter: @radiofinn

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today appealed the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny West Virginia's request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures in response to the January 9 Elk River chemical spill.

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Chemical Leak
8:14 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Familiar Licorice Smell Investigated in W.Va.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is investigating a business in Poca after reports of a familiar smell that followed January's chemical spill.
 
The agency on Monday received reports of the strong licorice smell of MCHM coming from a business called Safety Kleen in the Poca industrial complex.
 

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Chemical Leak
11:22 am
Fri March 7, 2014

FBI Visits Company that Hauled Chemicals for Freedom Industries

Credit C. W. Sigman

Federal agents have visited a company that cleaned up and hauled chemicals from the site of a spill that contaminated 300,000 West Virginians' water.
 

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin confirmed that FBI investigators were at Diversified Services LLC in St. Albans on Thursday. Goodwin could not comment on why they were there.

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The Legislature Today
7:15 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Water Protection Bill, State Budget, Healthcare Lobbyist Thom Stevens, & More

The House passed the Water Resources Protection and Management Act on Wednesday. The Senate passes their version of the budget bill and calls for $125 million to be used from the Rainy Day Fund. Healthcare lobbyist Thom Stevens outlines some of the more than 200 bills this session relating to healthcare, including the late-term abortion bill and a bill that would make pseudoephedrine available by  prescription only.

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Chemical Leak
4:01 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Hearing on Capitol Hill Considers Lessons Learned from Elk River Chemical Spill

Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works had a hearing Thursday in Washington that focused on improving chemical safety. Committee members heard about the recent water crisis in the Kanawha Valley from a West Virginia expert.

Panelists included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Chemical Safety Board as well as authorities from communities that have witnessed recent chemical strife.

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Chemical Leak
1:40 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Five Things That Happened Before W.Va. House Passed the Water Resources Protection & Management Act

Credit Daniel Walker

There is little doubt that the bill aimed to protect water resources in the state, in response to the Jan. 9 spill of MCHM into the Elk River by Freedom Industries, has been the most closely watched and widely discussed bill of the session.

Although the Senate passed SB 373 less that two weeks after its introduction, its passage  in the House took far longer--a result of a triple committee reference that offered a chance for roughly 60 delegates to offer amendments to the bill. Delegates also labored over 20 amendments on the bill's Third Reading Wednesday night before deciding to send the bill back to the Senate.

Here's a few highlights from Wednesday night's floor session leading up to SB 373's passage:

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West Virginia Morning
9:32 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Legislative Coverage, Kids Dancing in School Hallways, and Chasing Off Old Man Winter

On this West Virginia Morning, abortion and water resources are debated in the legislature; Jessica Lilly let's us in on how grade school kids are getting their groove on; and we hear about this year's Fasnacht festival in Helvetia.

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The Legislature Today
7:51 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Senate Takes on Late-Term Abortions, Water Protection Bill Heads to House Floor, & WVU President Gee

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee amends and passes a House bill that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. The House Finance Committee removes an amendment to the water protection bill that would force the state Bureau for Public Health to monitor the health those affected by the January 9 spill by Freedom Industries. West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee speaks about his appointment as permanent chief of the school and his vision for its future.

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House Finance Committee
3:56 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Water Resource Protection Bill Passes Final House Committee Reference

The House Finance Committee approved S.B. 431, relating to issuance and renewal of certain driver's licenses and federal ID cards.

The House Finance Committee removed several of the sections added by the other House committees in the water resource protection bill.

One of which was related to medical monitoring which the committee determined was a redundancy because Dr. Letitia Tierney from the DHHR explained during the meeting her office plans to pursue testing whether it is in the bill or not.

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Chemical Leak
12:36 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Freedom Industries Hires Firm to Keep Emails, Data

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia company at the center of a January chemical spill is hiring experts to preserve emails and phone records for ongoing investigations.
 
Freedom Industries will pay Vestige Ltd. about $42,500 to maintain electronic evidence, which is needed for a U.S. Attorney's Office investigation and other chemical spill inquiries.
 

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Chemical Leak
4:56 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

WVAW Discontinues Bulk Water Distribution

West Virginia American Water announced Monday they would be discontinuing their bulk water distribution service two days early.

In a press release, the company said the forecast is to blame for the early end to the service which was planned to end Wednesday. Bulk water tankers in previous weeks have been unable to distribute water when temperatures reach freezing.

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Chemical Leak
2:04 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Delegates Advance Water Legislation after Debating 50 Amendments

Credit West Virginia Legislature

Members of the House Judiciary Committee spent more than 9 hours debating and discussing 50 amendments to Senate Bill 373 Sunday into Monday.

The bill is meant to regulate above ground storage tanks and protect the state’s water resources in response to the January 9 chemical spill at Freedom Industries in Charleston that resulted in the contamination of 300,000 West Virginians’ drinking water.

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Chemical Leak
12:36 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Rockefeller Still Skeptical of W.Va. Water Safety

Credit Politico

Sen. Jay Rockefeller is still skeptical about safety of drinking water for 300,000 Charleston-area residents.
 
At an appearance Friday in Charleston, the West Virginia Democrat said he would not drink tap water when he is visiting the capital city, according to the Charleston Daily Mail.
 

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