8 years ago
"I watched the coal industry poison our water for years. Now they're telling us not to drink the water? We've been dumping this stuff into unlined ponds and into old mines for years," he says. "This MCHM was just one of the chemicals we were told was highly toxic but that we dumped into old mine shafts and slurry ponds, and it's been seeping into the groundwater for years." It sounds bad even before Stanley explains that coal mines are constantly pumped to clear ground water, aquifers, and underground streams: "As soon as we're out of that mine it immediately fills with water. And where does it go from there? I don't know, your guess is as good as mine."Stanley says he hasn't drunk the water for years and that no one else should either. We know the coal industry is getting away with poisoning our waterways nationwide, and a new study of federal data by the Associated Press shows just that. Coal industry chemicals and waste "have tainted hundreds of waterways and groundwater supplies, spoiling private wells, shutting down fishing and rendering streams virtually lifeless."
Federal and state investigators learned today that an additional chemical that wasn't previously identified was in the tank that leaked on Jan. 9 at the Freedom Industries tank farm just upstream from West Virginia American Water's regional drinking water intake. Company officials told investigators that the "Crude MCHM" that spilled also contained a product called "PPH," which stands for polyglycol ethers, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.The chemical, the company claims, has "low oral toxicity." Uh-huh. And it's probably as safe for pregnant women as the other stuff they spilled into the Elk River.