Erin Brockovich from MetroNews 'Hotline'

Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, was in Charleston Monday night to lead a town hall meeting focused on the chemical spill.
File
Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, was in Charleston Monday night to lead a town hall meeting focused on the chemical spill.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Activist Erin Brockovich, whose involvement in a case alleging contaminated drinking water in a California town was depicted in a movie starring Julia Roberts, says West Virginians deserve answers to their questions about a recent chemical spill.

“They are cautiously watching what’s happening and asking really good questions and, I think, they’re being proactive,” said Brockovich on Monday’s MetroNews “Hotline.”

Brockovich lead a town hall meeting in Charleston on Monday night after, she said, about 5,000 West Virginians reached out to her through her website, www.brockovich.com, while a do-not-use water order continued for upwards of 300,000 people.

Those people are customers of West Virginia American Water Company in parts of nine West Virginia counties and, since last Thursday, they’ve been instructed to only use the water coming into their homes and businesses to flush toilets because of concerns about possible contamination.

An estimated 7,500 gallons of crude MCHM, made up primarily of 4-methylcylohexane methane, leaked from a storage tank at Freedom Industries along the Elk River in Charleston back on Thursday.

Officials with state government, the West Virginia National Guard and WVAW have spent the time since the spill trying to determine the possible effects the chemical, which is used in coal preparation, could have on health, while also monitoring its dilution in the water.

Brockovich said this case is similar to many of the cases she has dealt with before now in that, she says, she thinks profits were put ahead of safety and that lead to the chemical leak that eventually made its way into the water supply.

“We have got to start changing the way we do business….It cannot be this way anymore because we are all paying the price,” said Brockovich.  “I think we’ve become way laissaz faire about our safety.”

On Monday, the do-not-use water orders started being lifted by zones.

The area near the Kanawha Valley Water Treatment Plant, largely the heart of Charleston, was the first where residents were given the go-ahead to flush their plumbing systems.  After flushing was completed, WVAW and state officials said they believed the water would be safe for laundry, cooking, bathing and drinking.

A team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board was scheduled to arrive in Charleston on Monday to launch an investigation into the spill.

bubble graphic

118

bubble graphic

Comments

  • Kelly

    The WVDEP has none about the ongoing toxic chemical leak in Lochgelly WV for years but refuses to do anything about it, even though the USGS and others have confirmed that the water supply has toxic hydraulic fracking chemicals in it.

    Big political contributions buy big political favors in West Virginia and that is why state regulations are NOT ENFORCED!!!

    To see that what I am saying is true, go to the website listed below:

    www.DirtySecretWater.com

  • Brian Bays

    "There is no oversight to become more preventative, very proactive -- safety first and money second -- that is the root cause of this problem"

    Nailed it Erin! Thank you so much for your continued work on this issue.

  • Suga

    I'm sure glad we have a Government that oversees these big companies! It's times like this...that make me wonder why Republicans keep saying we need less Government. Imagine less government standards regarding our Water?

    I think the next election will be between:
    Big Government vs Big Business!
    Which one has your back?

  • Trish Young

    I work at women's and children Hosp and I won't use the water it still has bad odor

  • jss

    It is amazing to me that so many ill-informed and and, frankly, ignorant people feel they should comment on this site. Perhaps true names and addresses should be required. You all are making the whole state look bad.

  • BS

    I don't have to see the video to know that it is a hoax. I've read the physical properties of 4 methylcyclohexanemethanol and it will not burn like that. Not to mention it is diluted a million times over in water. Idiot

  • HOSA

    JUST IN FROM WASHINGTON. HOUSE SPEAKER BOEHNER FROM OHIO SAID TUESDAY THAT NO NEW REGULATIONS ARE NEEDED AFTER THE CHEMIACL SPILL IN WEST VIRGINIA LAST WEEK LEFT MORE THAT 300,00 PEOPLE WITH WITHOUT SAFE TAP WATER. HE SUGGESTED THE INCIDENT WAS NOT A RESULT OF LESS ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY REGULATION AND HE STATES THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH REGULATIONS ON THE BOOKS ALREADY. BOY OH, BOY.

    • BS

      Boehener is right, all that has to be done is enforce the laws already on the books. Typical flaming left wing imbecile thinks that 10,000 more laws are needed for chemical spills, grabbing guns etc.

  • HOSA

    THE PEOPLE OF WV HAD BETTER WAKE UP. JUST IN FROM WASHINGTON. HOUSE SPEAKER BOEHNER FROM OHIO SAID TUESDAY THAT NO NEW REGULATIONS ARE NEEDED AFTER THE CHEMIACL SPILL IN WEST VIRGINIA LAST WEEK LEFT MORE THAT 300,00 PEOPLE WITH WITHOUT SAFE TAP WATER. HE SUGGESTED THE INCIDENT WAS NOT A RESULT OF LESS ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY REGULATION AND HE STATES THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH REGULATIONS ON THE BOOKS ALREADY. BOY OH, BOY.

  • Donna

    So why don't one of you see if your water in Charleston IS flammable instead of arguing about it on here?

  • Herd1

    NBC Nightly News began with the spill story, inferring it was unthinkable anywhere else but here. Makes our state officials look like bumpkins and they, in turn, make us look like sheep heading for the slaughter at the hands of some "Job Creator".

  • rick

    Example of the war on chemicals

  • Kay Smith

    I could not attend last night, but listened to most online, but keep getting interrupted with phone calls. Will there be a replay link? Thanks so very much.

  • Jason Divine

    Why aren't people much angrier about this?

  • rick

    More evidence of the war on chemicals

    • Jason Divine

      "war on chemicals" ? LOL!!!!!!!!!!

  • David Kennedy

    Want to thank her for walking all the way from California to visit we poor folk of West Virginia.

    Does she still live in that tree with Darryll Hannah?

    We have enough environmental wacco's here with the EPA trying to end the coal industry and making everyone a farmer again.

    • Jason Divine

      Shut down the entire coal industry!! All of it!!