Chemical Spill Affects Nine West Virginia Counties

JimBowie1958

Old Fogey
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
61,683
Reaction score
13,612
Points
2,220
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
West Virginia: Governor Declares State of Emergency After Coal Chemical Spill | TIME.com

The federal government joined West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in declaring a state of emergency following a chemical spill along one of the state’s major rivers. The spill has caused authorities to issue a water ban in nine counties that could affect an estimated 100,000 residents.

The emergency and accompanying ban were issued after the toxic chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which is used to process coal, leaked from a tank at a Freedom Industries plant in the capital city Charleston and spilled into the Elk River. The full extent of the spill remains unknown.

“Until we get out and flush the actual system and do more testing, we can’t say how long this [advisory] will last,” West Virginia American Water president Jeff McIntyre told the Associated Press.

The chemical is not lethal even its most concentrated form, McIntyre said, but according to the AP it is a skin and eye irritant that can be harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
Methylcyclohexanol - National Library of Medicine HSDB Database

So who fell asleep at the wheel on this one?
 

Old Rocks

Diamond Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
59,352
Reaction score
7,232
Points
1,840
Location
Portland, Ore.
A whole bunch of people. But had the Federal Government stepped and demanded done what should have been done to prevent this, there would have been instant crying and whining about the government overstepping the bounds.

There should be people held accountable for this. Not just fines for the companies, but managers and CEO's serving prison terms, as well as the people in the government taking money from these people.
 
OP
JimBowie1958

JimBowie1958

Old Fogey
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
61,683
Reaction score
13,612
Points
2,220
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
A whole bunch of people. But had the Federal Government stepped and demanded done what should have been done to prevent this, there would have been instant crying and whining about the government overstepping the bounds.
When the feds over step their bounds it is not whining to point that out. When anyone else 'oversteps their bounds' it is usually a crime, but that's the perk of being the top dog, I guess. Still shouldn't happen.

There should be people held accountable for this. Not just fines for the companies, but managers and CEO's serving prison terms, as well as the people in the government taking money from these people.
Yeah, I get a feeling this has some cronyism behind it; that is becoming an epidemic IMO.

But who can put the genie back in the bottle when everyone wants those corporate political donations?
 

waltky

Wise ol' monkey
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Messages
26,211
Reaction score
2,581
Points
275
Location
Okolona, KY
Granny don't like it when she can't wash - she likes to be fresh as a daisy...

Chemical spill brings W.Va. capital to standstill
10 Jan.`2014 — A chemical spill left the water for 300,000 people in and around West Virginia's capital city stained blue-green and smelling like licorice, with officials saying Friday it was unclear when it might be safe again to even take showers and do laundry.
Federal authorities began investigating how the foaming agent escaped a chemical plant and seeped into the Elk River. Just how much of the chemical leaked into the river was not yet known. Officials are working with the company that makes the chemical to determine how much can be in the water without it posing harm to residents, said West Virginia American Water president Jeff McIntyre. "We don't know that the water's not safe. But I can't say that it is safe," McIntyre said Friday. For now, there is no way to treat the tainted water aside from flushing the system until it's in low-enough concentrations to be safe, a process that could take days.

Officials and experts said the chemical, even in its most concentrated form, isn't deadly. However, people across nine counties were told they shouldn't even wash their clothes in affected water, as the compound can cause symptoms ranging from skin irritation and rashes to vomiting and diarrhea. No more than six people have been brought into emergency rooms with symptoms that may stem from the chemical, and none was in serious or critical condition, said State Department of Health & Human Resources Secretary Karen L. Bowling.

The company where the leak occurred, Freedom Industries, discovered Thursday morning about 10:30 a.m. that the chemical was leaking from the bottom of a storage tank, said its president, Gary Southern. Southern said the company worked all day and through the night to remove the chemical from the site and take it elsewhere. Vacuum trucks were used to remove the chemical from the ground at the site. "We have mitigated the risk, we believe, in terms of further material leaving this facility," he said. Southern said he didn't think the chemical posed a public danger. He also said the company didn't know how much leaked.

He also said more than once that it had been a "long day" for him and others at the company. After six minutes, Southern attempted to leave the news conference but was asked more questions. "Look guys. It has been an extremely long day," Southern said. "I have trouble talking at the moment. I would appreciate if we could wrap this thing up." The news conference ended a few minutes after that.

MORE Chemical spill brings W.Va. capital to standstill
See also:

Bottled water for West Virginia residents plagued by chemical in water supply
January 11, 2014 -- Homeland Security delivering 16 tractor trailer trucks of bottled water to troubled counties; The state orders the company responsible for the leak to remove all chemicals from tanks; The leak led authorities to urge people not to drink or bathe in tap water; Charleston's mayor calls the situation a "prison," says his patience is running thin
Sixteen tractor-trailers carrying bottled water began to arrive Saturday in West Virginia, where some 300,000 residents of nine counties have been told not to drink their tap water. The Department of Homeland Security shipped the clean water to distribution centers in and around Charleston, and officials said residents could begin stocking up early Saturday at 16 locations.

But they offered no timeline for when calmer, cleaner waters would prevail. "We're just not sure exactly how long it's going to take before it's acceptable to lift the do-not-drink ban," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told CNN on Friday night. He described the situation in the counties where the ban is in place as "pretty bad," for residents who were told their water was good for nothing but flushing toilets; and for schools, restaurants, hotels and other businesses forced to close. The amount of chemical that has caused the big stink dropped Friday, but not enough for authorities to lift their advisory not to drink, cook or bathe with it.

Some residents have directed their anger at the coal-industry company from whose storage tank the chemical leaked. "It's caused us more problems than you could ever imagine," said Danny Jones, the mayor of Charleston, the state's capital and most populated city. "It's a prison from which we would like to be released."

Utility official on water: 'I can't say it is safe'
 
Last edited:
OP
JimBowie1958

JimBowie1958

Old Fogey
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
61,683
Reaction score
13,612
Points
2,220
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Granny don't like it when she can't wash - she likes to be fresh as a daisy...

Chemical spill brings W.Va. capital to standstill
10 Jan.`2014 — A chemical spill left the water for 300,000 people in and around West Virginia's capital city stained blue-green and smelling like licorice, with officials saying Friday it was unclear when it might be safe again to even take showers and do laundry.
Federal authorities began investigating how the foaming agent escaped a chemical plant and seeped into the Elk River. Just how much of the chemical leaked into the river was not yet known. Officials are working with the company that makes the chemical to determine how much can be in the water without it posing harm to residents, said West Virginia American Water president Jeff McIntyre. "We don't know that the water's not safe. But I can't say that it is safe," McIntyre said Friday. For now, there is no way to treat the tainted water aside from flushing the system until it's in low-enough concentrations to be safe, a process that could take days.

Officials and experts said the chemical, even in its most concentrated form, isn't deadly. However, people across nine counties were told they shouldn't even wash their clothes in affected water, as the compound can cause symptoms ranging from skin irritation and rashes to vomiting and diarrhea. No more than six people have been brought into emergency rooms with symptoms that may stem from the chemical, and none was in serious or critical condition, said State Department of Health & Human Resources Secretary Karen L. Bowling.

The company where the leak occurred, Freedom Industries, discovered Thursday morning about 10:30 a.m. that the chemical was leaking from the bottom of a storage tank, said its president, Gary Southern. Southern said the company worked all day and through the night to remove the chemical from the site and take it elsewhere. Vacuum trucks were used to remove the chemical from the ground at the site. "We have mitigated the risk, we believe, in terms of further material leaving this facility," he said. Southern said he didn't think the chemical posed a public danger. He also said the company didn't know how much leaked.

He also said more than once that it had been a "long day" for him and others at the company. After six minutes, Southern attempted to leave the news conference but was asked more questions. "Look guys. It has been an extremely long day," Southern said. "I have trouble talking at the moment. I would appreciate if we could wrap this thing up." The news conference ended a few minutes after that.

MORE Chemical spill brings W.Va. capital to standstill
See also:

Bottled water for West Virginia residents plagued by chemical in water supply
January 11, 2014 -- Homeland Security delivering 16 tractor trailer trucks of bottled water to troubled counties; The state orders the company responsible for the leak to remove all chemicals from tanks; The leak led authorities to urge people not to drink or bathe in tap water; Charleston's mayor calls the situation a "prison," says his patience is running thin
Sixteen tractor-trailers carrying bottled water began to arrive Saturday in West Virginia, where some 300,000 residents of nine counties have been told not to drink their tap water. The Department of Homeland Security shipped the clean water to distribution centers in and around Charleston, and officials said residents could begin stocking up early Saturday at 16 locations.

But they offered no timeline for when calmer, cleaner waters would prevail. "We're just not sure exactly how long it's going to take before it's acceptable to lift the do-not-drink ban," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told CNN on Friday night. He described the situation in the counties where the ban is in place as "pretty bad," for residents who were told their water was good for nothing but flushing toilets; and for schools, restaurants, hotels and other businesses forced to close. The amount of chemical that has caused the big stink dropped Friday, but not enough for authorities to lift their advisory not to drink, cook or bathe with it.

Some residents have directed their anger at the coal-industry company from whose storage tank the chemical leaked. "It's caused us more problems than you could ever imagine," said Danny Jones, the mayor of Charleston, the state's capital and most populated city. "It's a prison from which we would like to be released."

Utility official on water: 'I can't say it is safe'
Wouldn't charcoal filters reduce the toxic crap enough to drink safely?

Why not distribute those if so instead of only bringing water?
 

Mr. H.

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
44,171
Reaction score
9,804
Points
2,030
Location
A warm place with no memory.
A tank leaked and then overflowed the containment area. Those dykes are supposed to hold over 100% of the total volume of all tanks inside the containment walls. Yeah someone screwed up big time.
 

gnarlylove

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Location
Along the Ohio River
2 counties away from my home. Lovely Crude MCHM.
What is the solution? Let it pass through the Ohio River which means my town has to shut water off tomorrow so we don't uptake this shit.
What about the life in the river? No comment.
Where does our solution conclude? The Missisppi, the Gulf and the Ocean. Thank God our Oceans are not already pollutted from endless sources or this might be bad. Oh wait, our oceans are in trouble? So adding this is bad? OMG. Still no comment from industry.

Why place gigantic silos of this stuff 50 feet next to a watershed supply? As a naturalist you aren't even suppose to piss 75 feet near a stream, so why the hell couldn't we understand that with seriously ill chemicals? No Comment.

As an Appalachian this betrays any ability for West Virginans to be self-sufficient (per the culture) when they can't even get water unless they buy it from public works water from NYC or PA that has been put into bottles and shipped. Adding to the madness of being able to obtain the one thing we all need daily

A real tragedy for "industry." too bad this is not uncommon on much larger and smaller scales or our planet might be in decline.
 
Last edited:

gnarlylove

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Location
Along the Ohio River
"No specific information is available in our database regarding the toxic effects of this material for humans," one chemical fact sheet explains. "However, exposure to any chemical should be kept to a minimum. Skin and eye contact may result in irritation. May be harmful if inhaled or ingested."

Carcinogenic effects? No information available.

Mutagenic effects? No information available.

Developmental toxicity? No information available.

Such a dearth of data can leave even the local experts scratching their heads.

from local new paper, What is 'Crude MCHM'? Few know* - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -
 

gnarlylove

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Location
Along the Ohio River
some are claiming this is not lethal. it is in rats. rats are a standard for a drug effects humans. the article had a lot more to say then we know comparatively little info what it is. i know we know it's a chemical molecule bound by laws of chemistry. not very helpful. the problem is if there is detailed info on how this effects humans it is is proprietary of freedom industries.

and the MSDS reveals not much info is known where info is typically known.
 
Last edited:

JakeStarkey

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
168,037
Reaction score
16,445
Points
2,165
Chemical Spill Affects Nine West Virginia Counties

No need to regulate business, folks. Move along, nothing to see hear. Oh, don't drink the water.
 

Mertex

Cat Lady =^..^=
Joined
Apr 27, 2013
Messages
26,532
Reaction score
13,973
Points
1,445
A whole bunch of people. But had the Federal Government stepped and demanded done what should have been done to prevent this, there would have been instant crying and whining about the government overstepping the bounds.
When the feds over step their bounds it is not whining to point that out. When anyone else 'oversteps their bounds' it is usually a crime, but that's the perk of being the top dog, I guess. Still shouldn't happen.

There should be people held accountable for this. Not just fines for the companies, but managers and CEO's serving prison terms, as well as the people in the government taking money from these people.
Yeah, I get a feeling this has some cronyism behind it; that is becoming an epidemic IMO.

But who can put the genie back in the bottle when everyone wants those corporate political donations?
Well, for those that continue to whine about "government intervention" - let this be a lesson....without someone making sure that corporations are doing what they need to do to keep from endangering people, corporations will continue to cut corners and do whatever they have to save money, and then we are faced with such incidents as the BP spill, this one and others.
 

gnarlylove

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Location
Along the Ohio River
...without someone making sure that corporations are doing what they need to do to keep from endangering people, corporations will continue to cut corners and do whatever they have to save money...
Exactly. The reason the US government has functioned so poorly as of late is we cannot agree on anything. We actually believe Republicans and Democrats are widely different. When this happens, it a bad time for everyone--except those who benefit from gridlock, which obviously corporations and politicians do. Gov't officials benefit by not making the effort to compromise. Instead they remain resolved about issues long after opposing arguments are made. This is a problem of both sides. Corps. stand to benefit because nothing new is introduced or redacted in policy and thus they continue business as usual.

That brings us to the real problem: business as usual is bad for you, me, the economy and our only planet (of course there are benefits to business as usual but there are plenty of faults like this all-too-regular incident of improperly regulated facilities and chemicals). As long as we can convince one another that our petty political sophistry is the real issue, we will continue to ignore the big picture: whether corporate, government, or personal, we no longer act according to the good of humanity. No, we act on the basis of ego which is often money or personal gain--this is no way to make rational decisions. As a result these instances will not cease by any means. We can go ahead and kickstart the countdown clock till another incident drowning out life over profit.
 

Mr. H.

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
44,171
Reaction score
9,804
Points
2,030
Location
A warm place with no memory.
Chemical Spill Affects Nine West Virginia Counties

No need to regulate business, folks. Move along, nothing to see hear. Oh, don't drink the water.
This is a containment issue. You think the company is unregulated? You think any business/company/industry is unregulated?
 

JakeStarkey

Diamond Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
168,037
Reaction score
16,445
Points
2,165
Chemical Spill Affects Nine West Virginia Counties

No need to regulate business, folks. Move along, nothing to see hear. Oh, don't drink the water.
This is a containment issue. You think the company is unregulated? You think any business/company/industry is unregulated?
I know it would be far worse if it weren't regulated is my point, and the second one implied is that it should be more regulated.

Regulation in market democracy is not socialism is the hidden point, not that the far righty corporationists or free market goofys would admit what is right in front of their noses.
 

gnarlylove

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Location
Along the Ohio River
Regulation in market democracy is not socialism is the hidden point, not that the far righty corporationists or free market goofys would admit what is right in front of their noses.
Regulation of business has been branded by multinational corporations as harmful to Americans.

Let's be fair and ask does this lax regulation really benefit Americans? We know one thing: 300,000 Americans must disagree right now. Such a disaster was easily preventable by several precautions that were apparently unnecessary at the time. I guess only unnecessary when you think people matter as part of "business." In the end, without tighter regulation on business, we will see this continue. Because if the past tells us one thing about corporate fines, its IF there are any fines leveled against Freedom Industries, it will be a tiny fraction of their annual profits which are in the millions.
 

New Topics

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top