Are you a victim of Freedom Industries’ disaster? This might be your chance for restitution.

If you or your business were harmed by, or you incurred damages from, the Freedom Industries disaster in January 2014, there is a new opportunity you should consider for recovering your losses.  Here is a link to the Charleston Gazette story from this past week. Federal prosecutor Booth Goodwin has created a Web site for […]

House Judiciary Committee votes in favor of reclassifying Kanawha River

The House Judiciary Committee voted today in favor of reclassifying the Kanawha River (from just above Belle downstream through Charleston to the Ohio River) as “Category A.” Reclassifying this stretch of the Kanawha would allow for the possibility of using it as a secondary water supply for Charleston and surrounding counties. Based on previous experience, […]

State government releases candid assessment of failures; WV American Water not so much

Governor Tomblin’s office released an “After Action Review“, an assessment of the emergency response to the water crisis, on the one-year anniversary last Friday. The report lays out a fairly comprehensive and honest analysis of what did and did not go well with the state’s response to the water crisis. The report identifies the WV […]

Public comment period and public hearing for DEP aboveground storage tank rule

Last week, the DEP released its proposed rule for regulating aboveground storage tanks under Senate Bill 373. Public comments will be accepted through January 21st and can be emailed to (with “Aboveground Storage Tank Comments” in the subject line) or mailed to: WVDEP Public Information Office Aboveground Storage Tank Comments 601 57th Street, SE […]

Freedom executives indicted for violations of Clean Water Act

It was a big week for indictments against former Freedom Industries executives and the company itself. Earlier this month, Gary Southern (Freedom’s cheief operating officer) was indicted for criminal fraud – for allegedly lying under oath in bankruptcy court to try to protect his personal assets (at least $7 million) by downplaying his role in […]

Improving Senate Bill 373

There’s been a lot of talk about rolling back parts of SB 373. On Monday, the “Public Water System Supply Study Commission” established by SB 373 issued its first report which contains several recommendations to strengthen protections for our drinking water. The Commission members were not appointed until late in the summer and the Commission […]

Freedom Industries’ Gary Southern charged with federal fraud crimes

The US Justice Department and the FBI are charging former president, COO and board member of Freedom Industries, Gary Southern, with criminal fraud for lying under oath about his long standing role in the company.  Through various investigations, including Freedom’s bankruptcy case and federal OSHA investigation, Southern portrayed himself as a part-time consultant who was […]

Dr. Gupta appointed to head Bureau for Public Health

From the Gazette: Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, will become West Virginia’s top health officer when he takes charge of the state Bureau for Public Health at the end of the year, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced Thursday. Gupta will become commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health […]

Community group takes the lead in pushing CSB recommendations forward

Back in 2011, the Chemical Safety Board recommended (after the 2008 Bayer CropScience explosion) the creation of a Hazardous Chemical Release Prevention Program for the Kanawha Valley. This program would be modeled after a highly successful program in Contra Costa County, CA. Even the January 9th Freedom leak was not enough to get serious movement […]

Talking points on DEP’s draft aboveground storage tank rule

Comments on the DEP’s aboveground storage tank rule are due Friday, Oct 24th to or by mail to: West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection – Public Information Office AST Emergency Rule Comments 601 57th Street SE Charleston, WV 25304 Below are some talking points about the draft rule, provided by the WV Rivers Coalition: […]