Public Meeting on MCHM and Water; Complaint to File; Petitions to Sign No Matter Where You Live
On March 25, the Charleston Gazette reported: 'Trace amounts' of MCHM found in Elk plant water.
This morning, WV Public Radio is reporting: Testing at WVAM Indicates Filtering Process Adds Trace Amounts of MCHM to Water Supply.
Find out more about what is still going on in terms of MCHM and water from WV American Water's Elk River plant: Folks in and near Charleston, WV are urged to attend a public meeting this Friday, March 28. Join us starting at 9 a.m. in the Ferrell Hall Auditorium at WV State University in Institute, WV.
The West Virginia Testing Assessment Project (WV TAP) has been testing tap water in homes in all nine counties impacted by the MCHM/PHP-in-our-drinking-water incident.
During the public meeting Friday, the WV TAP team will present information on:
(1) The WV TAP Team and Website
(2) The Crude MCHM Odor Threshold Study
(3) The 10-Home Study: Resident Interviews and Tap Water Analysis (4) Examination of Tentatively Identified Compounds and their Implications
(5) Expanded Home Tap Water Monitoring Plan: Preliminary Results (6) The Expert Panel
(7) Project Summary and Next Steps
The meeting will run until 3 p.m., with plenty of time for Q & A between attendees and presenters. Please come out! Make certain “officials” know the public still has questions and still needs answers and actions that will prevent further pollution of our water.
One big question folks still have: Is my water safe? If you can't trust what's coming out of your tap and you are a customer of WV American Water, please consider filing an informal complaint with the Public Service Commission. You can do this from anywhere in the state, as long as you or a relative are customers of WVAW; it doesn't take up any more of your time than making a phone call or sending an e-mail message.
To file an informal complaint with the PSC, follow three simple steps:
1. Call the PSC’s toll-free complaint line (1-800-642-8544) or file an informal complaint online.
2. Specify that you are filing an informal complaint under West Virginia State Rule 150-1-6.
3. Provide the receptionist with the following information:
- Your name, mailing and physical addresses, city, county, zip code, telephone number and email address (if you want them to use it)
- Your utility account number (available on your latest water bill or your online account)
- State that you are requesting that the PSC open a general investigation into West Virginia American Water’s billing practices during the water crisis, their emergency preparedness, and their processes for identifying, monitoring, and testing for potential contaminants in our water supply.
Even though you may be very angry, please be courteous with the person answering the phone at the PSC.
The more informal complaints that the PSC gets, the more likely it is that there will be an investigation — which needs to happen. WVAW's president contends WVAW did nothing wrong, and would do the same thing again in a similar situation. He has also admitted that his staff do not try to collect information on what type of potential contaminants are located upstream of their water intakes. And, as the WV Public radio story above reports, the water company has not changed filters at its Elk River plant since the January 9 spill.
Alarming? If you think so, please do file that complaint.
No matter where you live, you can still help out. Maya Nye, with People Concerned About Chemical Safety, notes that on August 1, 2013, President Obama signed an Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.
Since then, federal agencies have held listening sessions around the country, but not here, to gather public input on how to improve chemical facility safety.The water contamination crises and other chemical tragedies in our area underscore the need for one of these listening sessions in Charleston.
Although the public comment period on this executive order ends March 31, Maya advises us that we need to push for a listening session here in Charleston. So please sign:
Petition 1: Directly requesting the Department of Homeland Security to initiate a listening session in Charleston. (This is round 2 for this petition. If you signed it before, please do sign again.)
Petition 2: Asking our congressional representatives and governor to request a listening session on our behalf.
West Virginians have had their water contaminated from MCHM, coal prep plant waste “disposal” practices, mountaintop removal coal mining, processes associated with deep shale gas fracking and chemical leaks. We deserve to have our input taken into consideration as federal chemical safety and security laws are enacted!
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