US Attorney Opens Contaminated Water Investigation, Do Not Use Order Remains Effective

Updated 4 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
US Attorney Opens Contaminated Water Investigation, Do Not Use Order Remains Effective

How long has a coal cleaning chemical been leaking into the Elk River?  There appear more questions than answers. But, U.S. Prosecutor Booth Goodwin told CNN, "This type of negligence could bring criminal charges," although he underscored that the investigation was still in a preliminary phase.

Earlier, Goodwin stated: "“Yesterday’s release of a potentially dangerous chemical into our water supply has put hundreds of thousands of West Virginians at risk, severely disrupted our region’s economy, and upended people’s daily lives. My office and other federal law enforcement authorities have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the release. We will determine what caused it and take whatever action is appropriate based on the evidence we uncover.”

A do not use water advisory continues for parts of nine West Virginia counties, affecting up to 300,000 people. Jeff McIntire, president of WV American Water, has stated that the contaminated water that infiltrated a water intake facility one mile from the leaking tank at Freedom Industries can only be used for toilet flushing.

Methylcyclohexane Methanol has been identified as the chemical that leaked. However, the concentration and the amount remains sketchy.

Kent Carper, president of the Kanawha County Commission, explained on CNN that a do not use order is unprecedented. “There are no testing protocols for testing in a public water system [for this substance],” Carper said. “How long this is going to last, we do not know.”

At an afternoon news conference held by WV Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the latest water testing results were 1.7 parts per million. One part per million would according to the CDC be acceptable for consumption.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has stated that his office and other agencies will investigate circumstances surrounding the leak.

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