West Virginia Officials Say Water Ban to be Lifted Soon [View all]
Source: Time Magazine
West Virginia Officials Say Water Ban to be Lifted Soon
But authorities unable to provide clear timetable
By David Stout Jan. 13, 2014Add a Comment
Residents line up for water at a water filling station at West Virginia State University, in Institute, West Virginia, January 10, 2014.
After an estimated 300,000 West Virginians spent the weekend without tap water, following a massive chemical spill in the Elk River, officials say tests show life may return to normal soon — without specifying exactly when. “I believe that we’re at a point where we can say that we see light at the end of the tunnel,” West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin told a group of reporters on Sunday.
Jeff McIntyre, president of West Virginia American Water, said he was optimistic that the ban would be lifted soon. “I don’t believe we’re several days from starting to lift, but I’m not saying today,” told McIntyre.
On Thursday, state officials announced that approximately 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, a chemical used to process coal, had leaked from a storage tank into the Elk River, just one mile from the West Virginia American Water plant.
Environmentalists have long chided West Virginia’s lax industrial regulations, which activists claim are a result of the enormous sway companies working in coal-related industries have in the state.