I am sorry
to tell you all that there is currently a state of emergency in nine counties
(and counting) in West Virginia. Late yesterday afternoon a state official investigated
a chemical smell in the air in Charleston and discovered that there was a
serious leak of a chemical used in coal processing at Freedom Industries. Freedom
Industries did not disclose the leak itself, and must be held accountable.
The chemical is a foaming agent
used to scrub coal, 4-methylcyclohexane methanol. It is toxic, and the
situation is still unknown just what all the dangers could be. Hence there is a
no-use order for all customers of West Virginia American Water. This means no
drinking, no boiling before drinking, no bathing, certainly no mixing into baby
formula, etc. It is only okay for flushing or putting out fires.
This is probably the first time a
coal-related disaster has impacted so many people who do not live directly in
the coal-communities. Because the water was contaminated in Charleston, the
whole capitol is without water. Freedom Industries, and the Coal Industry
lobbyists and politicians need to be held accountable for this disaster, as it
was only a matter of time before something of this magnitude happened. I am not
interested in blame or shame here – rather accountability.
If you live in West Virginia and
are without usable water – my heart goes out to you. This is a horrible
situation that should never have happened. People are mobilizing like we do
best in emergencies to get water to you. There are links to water filling
stations by the National Guard and others online at: http://www.wowktv.com/story/24412205/water-filling-and-distribution-centers,
and updates online at http://www.wowktv.com/story/24408334/update-do-not-use-water-order-issued-for-wv-counties-after-chemical-leak.
There is a useful facebook page set up my movement people to link one another
with water and information which you are welcome to join if it is of use to you,
If you want to help and live
further away, there are several ways. First of all – the immediate situation
demands water being brought in from all over, so any donations that can be used
for gas money and water containers is always useful. I can send donations
instantly via paypal to individuals doing this work, so if you feel moved to
contribute, please donate online at http://www.ecochaplaincy.net/donate.html
and write that it is for the WV Water
Crisis in the memo.
Second of all, both your loving
thoughts, prayers and support for the whole state is appreciated, and that
comes with the commitment and determination to hold Freedom Industries, and the
coal industry accountable for this.
May we all appreciate each drop of
clean water we can experience.
May this day bring relief and
answers for all those in need.
May we love one another and do the
best we can for our neighbors and communities.
May we love ourselves with our
whole heart, and lead our lives in union with our values.