Legislature, Drink Up and Get Back to Work
The legislators suspending their session in order to escape the fear of poison pollution of the waterways is ridiculous. This sort of chemical and more has been contaminating the air and waters of West Virginia for decades and the governor's DEP keeps responding to citizen complaints with a shrug and "oh well." If the governor and legislators think this coal washing poison is good enough for residents of the southern coalfields, they should drink up and get back to work.
The legislative session should continue and all should enjoy the benefits of this rare gift of industrial capitalism/chemical spill - fears, anxieties, respiratory damage and water consumption, endangering yours and your children's lives. It may be real or merely "an aesthetic issue of taste and odor," as Jeff McIntyre, president of the West Virginia American Water Company, views the situation.
"We don't know that the water is not safe, but I can't say it is safe," McIntyre said earlier. "The only appropriate use for this water is toilet flushing."
If a Federal Emergency declaration is warranted by this situation then welcome legislators, to the life of poisoned southern West Virginia coalfields where communities live with this exact same scenario. Communities polluted by coal sludge leaks, deep well/groundwater contamination and blasting dust pollution. Your Department of Environmental industrial Protection, tells us: "Oh, we have no evidence that these chemicals are from those mining/chemical operations and even if they are, there is no evidence that they cause any health problems..." Atrocious!
Legislators, if you evacuated Charleston to save yourselves, on the basis of the precautionary principle - just common sense and fear but absolutely zero health studies, then by God you ought to put an end to mountaintop removal mining (MTR) because there are more than 20 peer reviewed health studies showing that people living near that activity suffer from disease and die at higher rates than comparable communities in Appalachia that do not live near MTR.
Coal is still at the root of the problem
Do "they" really expect us to pay for this? My eyes were burning after I took a shower in the "safe" water that we are now enjoying here in Charleston and surrounding unfortunates. This morning I washed my still burning eyes with bottled water.
We are in real trouble. I am not going to shower in this water as long as I can smell it and for sure will not drink this stuff. We can't or at least shouldn't bath in or drink the water now coming into our homes and who wants to wash their clothes in that stinky stuff.