Emergency Petition Filed in WV Supreme Court Against WV DEP and DHHR over MCHM Spill and Failure to Protect Public Health

Updated 10 weeks ago
Emergency Petition Filed in WV Supreme Court Against WV DEP and DHHR over MCHM Spill and Failure to Protect Public Health

Two public interest law firms have filed an original action against the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health and Human Resources. The petition alleges that the two agencies "failed to protect public health and the environment."   A PDF of the petition is available for download.

The complaint asks that the WV Supreme Court issue a writ of mandamus compelling the two agencies  to:

1. Implement a Hazardous Chemical Release Prevention Program as recommended by the Chemical Safety Board

2. Previous and future drinking water providers file Source Water Protection Plans and Emergency Response Plans and that both agencies conduct inspections and comply with duties to prevent and respond  to threats of public health from chemical leakage into the water supply

3. Monitor public health aspects of the spill including human and environmental impacts from the Freedom spill

4. Require DEP to require submission of Groundwater Protection Plans, Stormwater Prevention Plans, and to inspect facilities, both prior and after issuance of WV NPDES permits

5. Equitable relief including attorney fees

According to the petition, none of the members of the legislature in the nine counties affected are drinking tap water.

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