Target: Governor Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia
Goal: Hold chemical company Freedom Industries accountable for damage caused by spilling toxic chemicals into nearby water supplies
On January 9th, Freedom Industries spilled a large amount of toxic chemicals from a coal processing facility into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia. The spill occurred a short distance upstream from a water supply intake point, rendering water for the city of Charleston dangerous and unusable. 300,000 residents remain without tap water for the foreseeable future, many businesses are shut down, and several flights into the city have been cancelled. Freedom Industries must be held accountable for the environmental and economic damage caused by its negligence.
Around 7,500 gallons of “Crude MCHM,” a toxic chemical consisting mostly of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, leaked from a storage tank at Freedom Industries into the nearby Elk River. Shortly after the spill, residents began complaining about tainted tap water that smelled like licorice. Many residents have left town because they cannot drink, bathe in, or otherwise use the water. It is not known how long it will take to clear the contaminated water from the system. In the meantime, the city is facing major economic consequences as nearly very restaurant in Charleston is closed and many flights into the city have been cancelled.
The effects that this spill will have on the environment are still not clear. The Elk River is a tributary of the Kanawha River, which flows into the Ohio River, the Mississippi, and eventually the Atlantic Ocean. This means the consequences may extend internationally. Much aquatic life could be negatively impacted as a result of the irresponsible actions of Freedom Industries.
Freedom Industries has harmed the environment, public health, and the local economy of West Virginia. Sign the petition below to tell West Virginia’s Governor Tomblin to do everything in his power to hold the company accountable for this spill.
Dear Governor Tomblin:
I am sorry to learn about the recent chemical spill in West Virginia that has left so many people without water. By spilling these chemicals into the Elk River, Freedom Industries has harmed the environment, public health, and the local economy. I encourage you to do everything in your power to hold this company accountable for the distress it has caused the citizens of West Virginia, as well as for the harm it has done to the environment.
By holding this company accountable, you will send a clear message of warning to other companies that may put the public health and environment at risk.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Foo Conner/@IWASAROUND