Corporations disappear, criminals walk and the public gets screwed

Two weeks ago, we saw a perfect example of why individuals who cause public disasters must be held accountable for their crimes.  Freedom Industries caused the conditions that created the new chemical spills from the LLC’s tank farm.  In my linked post, I pointed out that the needs of the bankruptcy court that controls how […]

New WVFREE report emphasizes need for long-term health studies

West Virginia FREE and People Concerned About Chemical Safety recently released a report on “Women and Water.” The report summarizes lessons learned from six listening sessions with women impacted by the Freedom spill, conducted from February to April 2014. The report emphasizes the continued lack of public trust in officials and the remaining questions about […]

More information comes out on impact of MCHM on plumbing

Dr. Andrew Whelton, one of the leaders of the WV TAP project, published research this week on the interaction of 4-MCHM and plastic plumbing. When the spill happened, one of the initial concerns was whether 4-MCHM would be absorbed by plumbing and remain in the system even after pipes were flushed. This was especially a […]

Getting to know our water

If you missed yesterday’s presentation by Dr. Gupta of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health on the impacts of the water crisis, here is their powerpoint. About a third of survey respondents experienced health impacts, which largely went unreported. More than 40% of those health impacts occurred when […]

Gazette editor tells the truth about water crisis image management

I have written critically on The Power Line and here on Our Water WV.  Today, Charleston Gazette Executive Editor Rob Byers has echoed my earlier comments. What is West Virginia’s message? What is its image? What does that even mean? In March, local public relations people gathered in Charleston to talk about the recent water […]

Health Department releases more data on impacts of spill

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department presented to the National Association of County & City Health Officials last week. His presentation, available here, provides more insights and data into the impact of the spill than anything else released by a state or local agency to date. Dr. Gupta’s analysis probably doesn’t tell […]

Morgantown Utility Board learns lessons from Charleston’s water crisis

On Friday, the Morgantown Utility Board (owned and operated by the City of Morgantown) announced a new initiative to go above and beyond the requirements of SB 373. MUB is partnering with Downstream Strategies on an expanded sourcewater protection program. MUB’s general manager stated, “What occurred in Charleston made us take a harder look at […]

This is what declining federal infrastructure investment looks like

As I mentioned in my previous post, the U.S. is facing a serious problem of under-funded infrastructure. The recent water crisis – which involved 300,000 people on a water system that lacks redundancy and has limited ability to deal with a contamination event – is just one manifestation of this problem. Much of our water […]

Volunteers needed for help with Health Department survey

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will be conducting a phone survey on the economic and socio-psychological impact of the spill. Volunteers are needed to help with this survey this weekend, starting at 9am on April 5th and 6th. If you are able to volunteer, please call 304-348-6494 by 2pm tomorrow, Friday April 4th.

MCHM odor threshold and the Safe Drinking Water Act

Just how low is the odor threshold of MCHM in water? We’ve known for awhile that the licorice smell persists below 1 ppm (parts per million), but two studies released recently provide additional insight. A research group at Virginia Tech studied pure 4-MCHM and found its odor threshold to be 7 ppb (parts per billion). […]