DEP issues new guidance on SB 373 implementation

Bill posted last week on legislative efforts to undermine SB 373. Several legislators, mainly those representing natural gas interests, called for a special session of the legislature to roll back the implementation date of SB 373, arguing that the January 1, 2015 deadline for tank owners to complete inspections of their above ground tanks was […]

Governor and legislative leaders begin SB 373 roll back

Last Tuesday, Ken Ward described the attack being mounted on the early phases of the implementation of SB 373, the above ground storage tank and source water protection bill passed unanimously by the WV Legislature in its 2014 session.  That attack seems to be coming primarily from Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim […]

PSC Commissioner Ryan Palmer resigns

Big news out of the Public Service Commission yesterday. Commissioner Ryan Palmer resigned to take a new position at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. Mr. Palmer’s departure leaves a gaping whole on the Commission. Mr. Palmer has been a strong advocate for ratepayer interests, taking the unusual step of writing a dissenting opinions […]

Ken Ward digs up history of WVAW’s past decisions

Last weekend, Ken Ward filed two excellent accounts of the series of bad decisions by WV American Water and WV state regulators that led to the January 9 water crisis.  Saturday’s story focused on decisions, going back to the 1960s, that led to WVAW having only one intake on the Elk River, down river from […]

When will we pay for replacing our infrastructure?

One of the tricky aspects to thinking about improving the Kanawha Valley’s water system is the question of who will pay for it. WV American Water’s standard excuse for not investing in an alternative intake or upgrading its old pipes (with their 38% leakage rate) is that people won’t be willing to pay for it. […]

Comments due July 31 on Bureau of Public Health’s draft sourcewater protection rules

SB 373 requires the Bureau of Public Health to develop rules for water utility sourcewater protection planning. Unlike the DEP, the Bureau of Public Health has not chosen to publicize its role in implementing SB 373. The Bureau of Public Health published their draft rule on July 1st, with public comment due July 31st (comments […]

So, when did the Charleston water emergency really start? We don’t know.

For more than six months, we have heard regulators, politicians and the media claiming that the contamination of WV American Water Company’s water started on Jan. 9, 2014 when large amounts of Freedom Industries’ MCHM/PPH were first noticed leaking into the Elk River.  This past week, US Chemical Safety Board investigator Johnnie Banks reviewed the […]

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 […]

Tank Farm Leaks Again (and Again), Charlie Foxtrot Continues (Updated)

Gosh, what could possibly go wrong?  Gov. Tomblin and the WV DEP have left the company that caused the January 9 chemical leak in charge of the clean up.  That company, Freedom Industries, no longer exists.  The company is currently in bankruptcy where creditors are intent on keeping current costs as low as possible so […]

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 […]