West Virginia American Water has been hastily lifting the water ban across the region, declaring that the water contaminated by the leakage of thousands of gallons of Methylcyclohexane Methanol into the Elk River. The chemical, stored at a Freedom Industries facility, was found to have been leaking at ground level for an undetermined period of time.
While some TEApublicans may say that West Virginians should be thanking Koch-affiliated Freedom Industries for the free chemicals, the rest of the world has been wondering why Freedom Industries enjoyed liberty from many regulations designed to prevent a chemical storage facility situated upriver from the water supply serving over 300,000 people that has not bothered to inspect its tanks since the early 1990’s from providing nine counties with licorice-scented water that causes uncontrollable vomiting, diarrhea, blisters, burning throat, and other symptoms not normally associated with H2O.
Since WV American Water declared the water drinkable for about 75% of customers, residents began to speak out on the company’s Facebook page–many declaring that the water was causing the same symptoms as before.
It gets worse, though. While WVAW was perfectly OK with providing residents with still-tainted water, new information has revealed that the company has been filling its relief trucks with the very same contaminated water.
On Thursday, the water company pulled its bulk tankers from service after residents noticed that the water they had obtained from a service that was supposed to provide clean water to residents had the same odor of licorice.
Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre told the WV Gazette that complaints from residents began rolling in late Thursday about the water distributed at the Crossings Mall in Elkview and Riverside High School.
Sayre says the was originally told the tankers were being filled “off-site” and “out of Charleston,” but it seems that American Water was not entirely honest, there. The water company responded with same care it demonstrated when residents were made to wait much of a day for news directly following the spill. Spokesperson Laura Jordan said the tankers were, in fact, filled near the plant after “zero levels” of the chemical were found. “But to avoid any concerns,” she said, “just to reassure our customers, we’re filling up the tankers from another system.”
We feel awful for those affected by this tragedy and the terrifyingly inept handling of the situation, and are continuing to collect donations that will be used to purchase water. It will then be delivered to areas that might not be as “safe” as American Water wishes the country to believe.