West Virginia American Water

http://www.amwater.com/wvaw/

West Virginia American Water announced Thursday they’re doling out grants to six community organizations.

The grants are part of West Virginia American Water’s 2015 Environmental Grant program. It’s a program designed to help innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds, surface water or groundwater supplies.

Foo Conner / Flickr

The company that provides water to nearly 600,000 West Virginians has notified regulators it intends to file a rate case for its water and wastewater operations.

The notice was given by West Virginia-American Water Company to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. It says the company expects to file its case within 30 days.

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.

Melissa Ellsworth

On Sunday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration announced that its full-scale forensic investigation is now underway in earnest, following last week's train derailment.  

Federal Investigators say it could be weeks before we know what caused the CSX train to derail last Monday.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Courtesy Photo / Mike King

On Monday, a 109-car CSX train derailed along the Fayette-Kanawha county line, causing crude oil to spill into the Kanawha River, giant fireballs to stretch hundreds of feet into the air and one home to catch fire.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has placed Fayette and Kanawha counties under a state of emergency as emergency officials continue to respond.

The public utility company West Virginia American Water announced a call for water project entries today. The company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program offers funds for projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies located within West Virginia American Water’s service territory

Elk River Chemical spill
wikimedia / Wikimedia

State utility regulators are telling a regional water company to make more information public about how it responded to a January chemical spill.

West Virginia utility regulators are again postponing hearings for the water company affected in a January chemical spill.

In an order last month, the state Public Service Commission canceled hearings scheduled Feb. 10-12 for West Virginia American Water.

The commission is probing the water company's response to a chemical spill that tainted its water supply. The Freedom Industries leak spurred a tap-water ban for 300,000 people for days.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 4:38 p.m.

West Virginia American Water is returning service to its Kanawha Valley water treatment plant following a sewer line break Thursday on the Elk River above the plant intake. A yellow substance was reported shortly after noon and the company shut down the plant following notification from Metro 911. 

The company says they've consulted with the West Virginia West Virginia Bureau for Public Health about the decision to return service and they continue to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection and first responders. 

West Virginia American Water says the treatment process will be augmented with additional powdered activated carbon.

According to a news release, the company says plant operators have increased  the frequency of testing for: 

  •  total coliform (an indicator of bacteria),
  • pH, conductivity
  • and are continuously monitoring for free chlorine (disinfection).  

The company says they were notified that approximately three gallons of water-based road paint in the sewer system likely caused the yellow color at the site of the sewer line break. The Bureau for Public Health and water quality experts reviewed a MSDS sheet of the paint provided by the City of Charleston and determined it did not pose any threats.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 2:46 p.m.

West Virginia American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the shut down their Elk River intake around noon after being notified about the situation.  She says company officials are working with the DEP, first responders and other agencies.

Ongoing testing at the treatment plant shows no change in water quality, according to West Virginia American Water.  

Original Post from Friday, November, 14 at 12:46 p.m.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said  that, after consultation with Charleston City officials, it was determined the yellow sheen came from a broken sewer line and the spill "has been contained."

She says West Virginia American  has been notified.

Metro 911 called the report in to the DEP spill line around noon today. A distpatcher there says West Virginia American Water has shut down their Elk River intake.

According to the Charleston Gazette, "the liquid, in a geyser a few feet tall, was on the west side of the river." 

  A lawsuit against a water company, chemical producer, airport and others over a January chemical spill won't get a hearing for another year.

The consolidated lawsuit that targets West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical, Yeager Airport and others has a hearing for a motion on class certification on Sept. 25, 2015.

Judge John Copenhaver filed the schedule earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

West Virginia American Water
Foo Conner / Flickr

  A utility is opposing a $2.9 million bankruptcy settlement that would fund projects to benefit 300,000 people whose water was contaminated in January.

West Virginia American Water says Freedom Industries shouldn't use money from its insurance proceeds to pay for the projects. The company filed its opposition last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston.

Freedom's spill in January spurred a tap-water ban for days. The company filed for bankruptcy eight days later.

  The state Public Service Commission's chairman has removed himself from an investigation into a water company's response to a January chemical spill.

The Charleston Gazette reports PSC Chairman Mike Albert cited his previous work as an attorney representing West Virginia American Water in stepping down from the spill investigation.

Foo Conner / Flickr

Regulators ordered a water company under investigation for its chemical spill response to produce emergency plans and information potentially protected by anti-terrorism laws.

The state Public Service Commission ordered West Virginia American Water on Friday to produce many documents it opposed releasing.

The PSC says some information potentially shielded by state and federal laws can be considered. It will be confidential from the public.

West Virginia American Water
Foo Conner / Flickr

West Virginia regulators say they may consider information potentially protected by federal laws in their investigation into January’s chemical spill. The investigation focuses on West Virginia American Water’s response to the incident.

 At Monday's state Public Service Commission meeting, Chairman Michael Albert said documents and emergency plans protected by anti-terrorism laws could be deemed essential and considered.

Freedom Industries
AP

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is holding a discovery conference on Monday, August 18th in its ongoing investigation of West Virginia American Water's response to the January 9th chemical spill.

Foo Conner / Flickr

A West Virginia water supplier has taken an $11 million hit to address a January chemical spill that tainted 300,000 people's tap water.

Quarterly filings show that the spill cost American Water $10.9 million in income. The company says the second quarter impact was $5 million.

State affiliate West Virginia American Water is seeking three bankruptcy claims from Freedom Industries, the company that spilled chemicals. One is a $1.1 million request to cover the filters the water company replaced.

Foo Conner / Flickr

  Two men have submitted a proposal calling for a mountaintop lake in Charleston that would serve as a backup drinking water source.

The proposal by Fred Stottlemyer and Joe Mullins seeks construction of an earthen dam to create an 800 million-gallon lake at Coonskin Park.

Stottlemyer is former public service district general manager. Mullins was an urban planner in the governor's office in the 1960s.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

At the beginning of the year, residents of Charleston, West Virginia smelled a licorice odor in their water. It turned out a chemical used in coal production had leaked out of a nearby storage tank, contaminating the water supply for 300,000 people. This week, tanks at the center of this crisis are being demolished. But as Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports, that doesn't necessarily bring closure.

West Virginia American Water entered written testimony last week in the Public Service Commission's investigation into the January chemical leak in Charleston. The PSC wanted more information about how the company responded to the crisis, including justification for not shutting of their source water intake.

State officials are working on a list of animals they feel are too dangerous to own as pets and a North Central West Virginia man's Facebook project is picking up steam as he tries to introduce you to the 'Humans of Fairmont.'

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