The lives of 300,000 central West Virginia residents were thrown into chaos a week ago when 1000s of gallons of solvent leaked from a storage tank and drained into the scenic Elk River, contaminating the water supply.
Initially, citizens were told to not only stop drinking the water but also to not even shower with it, due to the extreme levels of contamination. As residents left the capitol city of Charleston to find clean water to drink, cook, and bathe, the story of lax environmental oversight of the WV plant unfolded. According to the LA Times, the leaking storage tank owned by Freedom Industries, Inc. had not been inspected since 1999. The latest news is that Freedom Industries filed for bankruptcy on Friday, January 17. (What are the implications for Southern Arizona? Think Rosemont Mine and read on.)