CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- More than 100 people agreed on Wednesday night to come together to demand stronger protections for West Virginia's waterways.The group, mostly Charleston residents, gathered at the Roosevelt Community Center on the city's East End to vent their frustrations with last week's chemical spill and the subsequent water ban, now in its seventh day in much of the Kanawha Valley.
The meeting's organizers said they wanted to provide a forum to discuss ways to prevent future chemical spills like the one last week, in which a coal-processing chemical leaked out of a tank at Freedom Industries and into the Elk River, contaminating the water supply.
Jenny Burns, a West Side caterer, said she organized the meeting after reading about people's situations on Facebook and becoming "fired up."
By the night's end, most agreed that stronger chemical regulations are needed in West Virginia.
"They need to regulate the hazardous chemicals just like they regulate my catering business," Burns said.
Many exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, hoping to plan rallies and protests and to contact state representatives. Several people discussed holding a rally at the State Capitol in February.
"I'm picturing CNN panning their cameras to the Capitol and seeing thousands of people," one woman said.