News / USA

West Virginia Chemical Spill Still Affecting Rural Areas

West Virginia Chemical Spill Still Affecting Rural Areasi
X
January 15, 2014 1:44 PM
In the U.S. state of West Virginia, a major chemical spill that contaminated a river supplying water to hundreds of thousands of people is slowly dissipating. Officials say the water restrictions have been lifted in some areas near the state capital of Charleston. But as VOA’s Brian Padden reports, in some rural towns people still cannot drink the local water.
Brian Padden
In the U.S. state of West Virginia, a major chemical spill that contaminated a river supplying water to hundreds of thousands of people is slowly dissipating. Officials say the water restrictions have been lifted in some areas near the state capital of Charleston. But in some rural towns people still cannot drink the local water.
 
Charleston, West VirginiaCharleston, West Virginia
x
Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia
In the town of Marmet, which is just south of Charleston, residents line up in the their cars for free bottled water. Schools and most restaurants and businesses remain closed.
 
Marmet's Fire Chief Jerry McGhee says responding to the water emergency has brought out the best in the community.
 
“The fire department and a ton of volunteers, which we really appreciate coming out. The police department, local police department has been here.  We had city council personnel with us and just a lot of in-town folks who have chipped in to assist us,” says McGhee.
 
This crisis began when a chemical known as MCHM, used to clean impurities from coal, leaked from a storage tank owned by a company called Freedom Industries. The chemical got into the Elk River, which supplies drinking water to the region. Residents say the contaminated water smells like licorice. Officials warned people not to drink it, or even wash with it.
 
Dustin White with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other environmental activists are critical of what they say is the lack of regulation of the powerful chemical and coal industries in West Virginia. But for now they are focusing on the crisis at hand, bringing water to rural areas.
 
“For me and a lot of us, this is where we call home. So any time that our people need any type of help, we try to respond in any way we can to help the people who need it,” says White.
 
Tommy Manns and many local residents say with some help they can survive this crisis.
 
“It's not as bad as what people make it seem, but you know we get by. All the water everybody gives out helps a lot,” says Manns.
 
Officials say it could be several days before the water-use ban is lifted entirely.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid