A Month After Toxic Spill, West Virginians Face ‘Crisis of Confidence’

"Weeks after health authorities had told West Virginians that their water was safe to drink again following a toxic spill, schools in Charleston sent students home abruptly last week when students and staff members detected the telltale licorice odor of the leaked chemical."

"Officials have repeatedly backtracked since lifting a tap-water ban about a week after the Jan. 9 spill, first advising pregnant women not to drink the water and then resuming the distribution of bottled water.

Around Charleston, the capital, restaurants advertise that they cook only with bottled water.

What began as a public health emergency after chemicals contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people has spiraled into a crisis of confidence in state and federal authorities, as residents complain of confusing messages and say they do not trust experts. The spill continues to arouse fear and outrage, and it threatens a political crisis in a state where lawmakers have long supported the coal and chemical industries."

Trip Gabriel reports for the New York Times February 9, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"The Complete Guide To Everything That’s Happened Since The Massive Chemical Spill In West Virginia" (Climate Progress)

"Charleston's Water Crisis Recovery?" (Charleston Gazette)

"Questions Remain About MCHM Screening Level" (Charleston Gazette)

 

Source: NY Times, 02/10/2014