This Just In: Chemical Spill in West Virginia


Weeks after spilling almost 10,000 gallons of chemicals into West Virginia’s Elk River, chemical maker Freedom Industries filed another toxic leak at their facility in Charleston. Although officials say that none of the chemicals have reached the river. Workers for Freedom Industries hit an underground pipe, unleashing water and the same chemicals that leaked out into the Elk River. The first spill basically contaminating drinking water for almost 300,000 residents. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is still not positive about the amount of material spilled into one of the cutoff trenches. The incident occurred around 7pm EST on January 9, 2014. Mike Dorsey responded to the incident stating that “It wasn’t so much of an incident. None of the stuff got into the river.” He describes the spill as a “trickle”. However on that Friday, five schools were reported to have high chemical levels in the water supply. Although they were under the detectable levels set by the Federal Centers for Disease Control, they are about West Virginias “non-detect” levels.


Although the levels were below the detection level, it is still dangerous. Who would want to be ingesting the same chemicals that we use to clean coal? Not to mention the comment made by Mr.Dorsey, about the spill being a “trickle”, if a spill contaminating almost 300,000 residents water, I wonder what he’d consider a full out flood, the whole country? I think his comment was an understatement, trying to make it look as though he hadn’t completely failed in protecting the health of the people in those communities.


If any of you get a chance to watch the video (link can be found at the bottom of this post but be warned its almost two hours) it’s a panel of senators discussing the spill that took place. Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water & Wildlife, stated the failure and the “reckless conduct of a private company, Freedom Industries, were responsible for the spill and the failure to report it properly”. He advised that we need to strengthen our laws and regulations about the protection of our wildlife, and water, and environment. Which is very true. Now we have many fuel companies (coal industry, hydraulic fracking, oil) taking over different parts of the US to drill/mine/extract, and without proper rules and regulations, these companies can do whatever they like and not have to take responsibility and fix what they can potentially do. They have the ability to completely destroy nature and wildlife and ruin the quality of life for millions of people.


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