Water Crisis


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

A protest featuring giant puppets was held in front of the Kanawha County Public Library yesterday, commemorating the January 9th chemical spill one year ago.

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.

Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Putnam County store operator has agreed to pay a $5,000 fine to the state to settle a price-gouging complaint after the January water crisis.

Under the terms of the agreement released Tuesday by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Mid Valley Mart LLC says it will comply with state consumer protection laws. In exchange, a Putnam County Circuit Court complaint will be dismissed.


When I signed up to be a judge at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, I thought it would just be a bit of fun -- a relaxing weekend in an historic West Virginia mountain spa town.

Then came the water crisis: a massive spill of the coal-cleaning chemical MCHM into our water supply, and more than a week under a “do not use” order.

The Law Works - Environmental Bankruptcy

Feb 20, 2014

What happens when a company causes an environmental disaster... injures hundreds of thousands of people...closes large and small businesses for days...then files bankruptcy? Join The Law Works host Dan Ringer and guest Martin Sheehan as they talk about "getting away with it" through bankruptcy.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The state Division of Homeland Security released audio Friday of Freedom Industries' employee Bob Reynolds notifying the state spill hotline that a chemical was leaking at their Charleston location. The call was received at 12:05 p.m. on January 9.

Reynolds told the operator, identified later in the call only as Laverne, the Department of Environmental Protection was already on site.

"I heard about it about 15 minutes ago," Reynolds told the operator when asked what time the leak occurred. The operator estimated the time to be about 11:40 a.m.