Responding to the Freedom Industries chemical spill
Yesterday, West Virginia American Water took out a full-page ad in the Sunday Gazette-Mail to offer their apology for the recent Dunbar water main breaks that left thousands of customers without water for days. The company says it will “continue the important conversation about our water system.” So far, this “conversation” has consisted of the water company taking out numerous newspaper ads, writing op-eds, and providing inserts in our water bills. When it comes to spreading their message, they’re doing great. When it comes to actually having a “conversation” with their customers, not so much.
When customers have tried to get their questions about the water company’s service answered, the company has responded with stalling and delays. In the Public Service Commission’s general investigation into the water company’s response to the Freedom leak, the company refused to answer basic questions regarding its emergency planning and preparedness. The company insisted on a high degree of secrecy, refusing to disclose its emergency planning documents. When the PSC ordered the water company to produce its emergency plan, the company produced a version that had even the PSC’s 1-800 number blacked out as confidential.