UPDATED: Legislature told Huntington has over 400 Water Risks in Critical Zone, Study Prepared in 2003

Updated 4 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
UPDATED: Legislature told Huntington has over 400  Water Risks in Critical Zone, Study Prepared in 2003
Source: Downstream Strategies

 UPDATED: The 424 "significant contaminants" report to the legislature was written in June 2003 by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health. Brian Chambers, City of Huntington communications director, told HNN that the city is "proactive" concerning threats to the water supply, including learning from the Kanawha County spill earlier in January.

A presentation to a committee of the WV legislature lists 424 "significant contaminants" within the city's critical zone of water intake. The presentation described 206 industrial sources and 218 identified as commercial , municipal , agriculture and residential. Representing WV Rivers Coalition, the Downstream Strategies document  lists "Marcellus wells" in a presentation slide in Morgantown, W.Va.'s   Zone of Critical Concern (near water intake ). The slide comes from the Morgantown Utility Board.

This summary, "Freedom Industries Spill: Lessons Learned and Needed Reforms"  was presented to the Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources on January 22, 2014.

Essentially, the organization demands stiffer regulations so that entities such as the Freedom complex would not slip under vague regulatory compliance. It criticizes state officials for mostly focusing on Freedom Industries, when numerous activities continue downsteam of water intakes throughout the state.)

Calling the Freedom spill a failure of private (Freedom, WV American Water) and federal, state and local government, the presentation stated that Freedom holds a NPDES  (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit that is regulated under multi-sector general stormwater permjits  by the WV Department of Environmental Protection. The WV Rivers Coalition recommends that under the Clean Water Act, DEP inspect all NPDES sites and immediately inspect those near intakes, prohibit a "general stormwater permit" to suffice for facilities in areas of critical concern, provide an additional special permit for industries such as the Freedom site, and increase funding for WV DEP;s NPDES enforcement program.

A grassroots website, ourwater.org, recently criticized politicians for a rush to dismantle Freedom while ignoring the problems root causes.

Instead of approving that Freedom is a "bad apple" in the manufacturing bunch. they write, "Governor Tomblin, Senator Manchin and the DEP appear to have come down harshly on Freedom Industries, but notice that the DEP’s order to dismantle the site is a “consent order.” The whole idea of a “consent order” represents the DEP’s philosophy of regulating industry – only impose regulations that the industry consents to."

The article continued: "Why not look for other facilities upstream of drinking water intakes with inadequate secondary containment, rather than focusing on tearing down this one, which the DEP says doesn’t have any harmful or hazardous substances anyway?"

Pertaining to Huntington, the  ourwater.org posting analyzes:

"Have these  [Huntington] sites been inspected recently? How many of these sites fall under the same lax regulatory regime that the Freedom site did – with no site-specific water pollution permit, no required pollution prevention plan on file with the DEP, and no knowledge on the part of emergency planners or the water company of the potential impacts of the hazardous chemicals they may be storing?"


 For instance, Huntington Alloys ( a.k.a. Special Metals)  applied in 2013 for a WV NPDES Water Pollution Control Permit to operate and maintain a metals reclaim tailings earthen impoundment  and temporary storage area for the treatment of industrial waste and drainage into the drainage basin of Pat’s Branch , a tributary of the Guyandotte River which is a tributary of the Ohio River.


And Mayor Steve Williams previously has stressed that catastrophic implications surround the Waste Water Treatment Plant. http://www.huntingtonnews.net/75770 . In addition, the Huntington Sanitary Board drafted a consent order in September regarding issues at Special Metals.  http://www.huntingtonnews.net/71511

 SEE ALSO: Hydrogen Fluoride sent to Waste Treatment Plant


SEE ALSO: TCE --- which was also sent to Huntington's plant --- has links to cancer:

TCE Exposure Linked To Increase Risk of Some Cancers

Trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure has possible links to increased liver cancer risk, and the relationship between TCE exposure and risks of cancers of low incidence and those with confounding by lifestyle and other factors need further study, according to a study published May 30 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

TCE is a chlorinated dry-cleaning solvent and degreaser that has been widely used for approximately the last 100 years and has shown carcinogenicity in rodents. Previous epidemiologic studies have shown a reported increase in cancer risk in humans for the kidney, cervix, liver and biliary passages, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.


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