Associated Press Published

Residents Demand Thorough Investigation of 2014 Water Crisis

Elk River

A group of Kanawha Valley residents is demanding a full investigation of West Virginia American Water’s role in a 2014 chemical spill and a resulting water crisis. 

Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River in January 2014, leaving 300,000 people without water for nine days.

News outlets report that more than 65 concerned residents attended the Public Service Commission’s meeting Tuesday to urge the commission to not give in to persistent water company requests to narrow the scope of the PSC investigation. Residents want commissioners to examine how well West Virginia American Water prepared for such an event and how water company officials responded once the leak occurred.

About two dozen West Virginia American Water employees attended the hearing, but none spoke.