PHOTOS: What It Looks Like When A Massive Chemical Spill Contaminates The Water Supply

Source: thinkprogress.org – Saturday, January 11, 2014
Empty shelves at a local Foodland between Freedom Industries and American Water. CREDIT: Foo Conner/@iwasaround On Thursday morning, a chemical spill was detected at Freedom Industries’ storage facility near the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia, just upstream from a water treatment facility. The chemical, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (crude MCHM), is used in coal production and can cause “severe burning in throat, severe eye irritation, non-stop vomiting, trouble breathing or severe skin irritation such as skin blistering.” A state of emergency was declared and more than 300,000 people ordered not to use or consume their water for anything other than flushing toilets. The contaminated water cannot be treated and at a Friday evening press conference, Freedom Industries President Gary Southern could not confirm the amount of the chemical that spilled into the water, which is distributed to a 1,500 mile area, nor when it began leaking. With no timeline for lifting the water use ban, West Virginians were thrown into a water crisis — after chaotic scenes at local stores cleared the shelves of bottled water, police were called in to guard the water delivery at a local Wal-Mart and the National Guard oversaw water distribution at the state capitol. Here’s a look at Charleston amidst the crisis: An environmental enforcement boat patrols in front of the chemical spill at Freedom Industries. CREDIT: Foo Conner/@iwasaround Local coffe

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Posted in Hot News Topics on Jan 12th, 2014 by In The News Team   

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