CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Monday a federal investigation launched last week into the Elk River chemical spill that contaminated water for 300,000 West Virginia residents is ongoing.
Goodwin released the following statement:
“As the immediate water crisis begins to ease and West Virginians regain access to drinkable water, I want to make three things clear. One, my office will continue working as quickly as possible to find out exactly what happened here, including the complete timeline of the release and what was done—or not done—before and after it. Two, if our investigation reveals that federal criminal laws were violated, we will move rapidly to hold the wrongdoers accountable. And three, companies whose facilities could affect the public water supply should be on notice: if you break federal environmental laws, you will be prosecuted. Our drinking water is not something you can take chances with, and this mess can never be allowed to happen again.”
A leak at the Freedom Industries storage facility sent an estimated 7,500 gallons of crude HCHM into the Elk River less than two miles from West Virginia American Water’s Kanawha Valley plant. The company issued a Do Not Use order to its customers in parts of nine counties. The order began to be lifted Monday afternoon on a zone by zone basis.