West Virginia American Water

News
12:10 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Investigators: Transporting Bakken Crude Still a Challenge for Railroads

Credit 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.

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Around the Nation
6:56 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Fiery W.Va. Derailment Prompts More Concern About Transporting Oil

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:08 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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News
8:37 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Five Things to Know About the Fayette Co. Train Derailment

Credit 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.

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Water
4:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Call For Water Projects: 2015 Environmental Grant Program

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

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Public Service Commission
3:47 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

W.Va. Regulators: Release More Chemical Spill Response Info

Credit 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.

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Government
10:56 am
Mon December 1, 2014

W.Va. Regulators Postpone Chemical Spill Hearings

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.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

DEP: Yellow Liquid On Elk River A Result of A Broken Sewer Line, Water Intake Restored

The grey area highlighted is the approximate location where the yellow substance was spotted.

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." 

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Chemical Spill
10:24 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hearing for Elk River Chemical Spill Lawsuit Set for Sept. 2015

  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.

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Bankruptcy
12:43 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Utility Opposes $2.9 Million Deal in Freedom Industries Bankruptcy Case

Credit 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.

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Investigation
9:36 am
Thu August 28, 2014

W.Va. PSC Chair Steps Down from Chemical Spill Probe

  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.

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Investigation
6:14 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

PSC: Water Company Planning Info Needed in W.Va. Spill Probe

Credit 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.

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Investigation
12:06 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

PSC Wants Shielded Info in West Virginia American Water Probe

Credit 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.

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Chemical Leak
1:41 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Investigations into January Chemical Spill Continue

Now disassembled Freedom Industries tank farm that leaked into the Elk River on January 9, 2014.
Credit 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.

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Chemical Spill
6:57 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Utility: Chemical Spill Cost $11 Million in Profits

Credit 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.

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Water Safety
9:32 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Secondary Intake Proposal Calls for Mountaintop Lake in Charleston

Credit 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.

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Around the Nation
4:27 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Months From Water Crisis, Leaking W.Va. Tanks Are Demolished

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:40 pm

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.

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West Virginia Morning
8:12 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Testimony Entered in PSC Investigation, W.Va. Working to Limit Exotic Pets, and Humans of Fairmont

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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Investigation
6:38 pm
Sun July 6, 2014

Five Things From West Virginia American Water's Testimony to the PSC Regarding the Elk River Spill

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

In May, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia opened a general investigation into West Virginia American Water’s response to January chemical spill at Freedom Industries. The investigation followed heavy scrutiny from the public over the water company not shutting down their intake along the Elk River downstream of the spill.

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Investigation
4:47 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Water Company Provides Testimony to PSC Regarding Elk River Spill Response

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

West Virginia American Water has met Wednesday's deadline to provide testimony to the Public Service Commission regarding an investigation into the water company’s response to the January chemical spill into the Elk River.  

In May, the PSC opened a general investigation into the incident.

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West Virginia Morning
8:16 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Exploring New Options for Water Sources, Free Lunches for Kids, Matewan Improvements & New SBA Chief

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection heard the thoughts and opinions of members of the public on lifting an exemption that prevents the Kanawha River from being used a source for public drinking water. The discussion comes after a chemical leak into the Elk River left 300,000 West Virginians without usable drinking water for up to 10 days.

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