Commission Closes Probe in 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis

CHARLESTON– West Virginia’s Public Service Commission has issued a final settlement order closing its investigation into West Virginia American Water’s role in a chemical spill and resulting water crisis in the Charleston area in January 2014.

West Virginia’s Public Service Commission has issued a final settlement order closing its investigation into West Virginia American Water’s role in a chemical spill and resulting water crisis in the Charleston area in January 2014.

Thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning agent leaked from a Freedom Industries storage tank into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 people in nine counties without water for up to nine days.

Hundreds of people headed to emergency rooms for issues from nausea to rashes after contact with tap water. The commission says the chemical released about a mile upriver got into the company’s raw water intake and into the region’s treated water supply.

The settlement requires regular updates of the company’s source water protection plan, annual reports on potential contamination sources and improved monitoring.

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