Credo Action

Hold Freedom Industries accountable

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Tell U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin:

"Hold Freedom Industries fully accountable for spilling an estimated 7,500 gallons of a dangerous coal-washing chemical called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River and putting the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians at risk."

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    Hold Freedom Industries accountable

    Last week, a chemical leak at a facility maintained by Freedom Industries dumped an estimated 7,500 gallons of a dangerous chemical called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River just over a mile from a water intake facility that provides drinking water to 300,000 West Virginians.1

    In violation of West Virginia law, Freedom Industries failed to immediately report the spill to authorities in a timely manner. And even Governor Earl Ray Tomblin -- a huge proponent of the coal industry -- criticized the company for not being forthcoming about the danger posed to West Virginia residents by the spill.2

    U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin has launched a federal investigation to determine whether criminal charges are warranted,3 but in coal-friendly West Virginia he’ll likely come under pressure to let Freedom Industries off the hook with a slap on the wrist. We can’t allow that to happen.

    Tell U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin: Hold Freedom Industries fully accountable for poisoning West Virginia’s water supply.

    4-methylcyclohexane methanol is known to be fatal to rats and considered dangerous to humans, but because no comprehensive study has ever been conducted on the chemical, we don’t know how dangerous it is for humans.

    Initial reports indicate that at least 179 people have been treated at hospitals due to exposure to the chemical, and more than a thousand others have called the West Virginia Poison Center regarding concerns about being exposed.

    Adding insult to injury, businesses in nine counties have been closed for days due to water use restrictions, exacting an unnecessary economic toll on the region.

    The coal industry is exceptionally powerful in West Virginia, and U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin – who is conducting the federal investigation – will likely face behind-the-scenes pressure to take it easy on Freedom Industries.

    In order to deter Freedom Industries and other companies from taking risks with the quality of our water supply in the future, Goodwin needs to stand strong and hold Freedom Industries fully accountable for spilling thousands of gallons of a dangerous chemical into the Elk River.

    Tell U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin: Hold Freedom Industries fully accountable for poisoning West Virginia’s water supply.

    1. "Chemical Leak Into West Virginia River Far Larger Than Previously Estimated", Think Progress, January 12, 2014
    2. "Light at end of the tunnel, but no timeline for water", The Charleston Gazette, January 12, 2014
    3. "U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin comments on water crisis investigation", WVNS TV, January 13, 2014