Pam Nixon testifies before Congress on EPA’s failure to enact Aboveground Storage Tank legislation

Watch PCACS’ President, Pam Nixon, testifying before the Congressional House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing on “The Administration’s Priorities and Policy Initiatives Under the Clean Water Act” on September 18, 2019 about EPA’s failure to protect communities from water contamination from aboveground storage tanks.  Panel testimony available here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day EJHA stories with Rashida Jones and NRDC

There are over 12,000 high-risk chemical facilities in America — and roughly 40% of U.S. residents live within three miles of them. For Earth Day, we teamed up with NRDC.org, Rashida Jones, and Molly Crabapple to tell the stories of these vulnerable #fenceline communities — which are disproportionately black and Latino — that live every day with the threat of chemical leaks, spills, and explosions that threaten families’ health, their livelihoods, and ultimately, their lives. It’s time we tell the Trump administration and Congress to take immediate action to protect our communities from the dangers of toxic facilities!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Pam Nixon testifies before Congress on Chemical Facilities and Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)

On March 12th, 2019, our fearless leader, Pam Nixon, testified before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security’s Sub-committee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Hearing on “Securing Our Nation’s Chemical Facilities: Stakeholder Perspectives on Improving the CFATS Program.” Watch her testimony on how chemical security issues affect #fenceline communities at here (starting at 29:11).

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

Claim Independence from Toxics in Dollar Stores!

Join the Campaign for Healthier Solutions (CHS) with Los Jardines-Institute, Tejas Barrios, Lideras Campesinas, People Concerned About Chemical Safety, and Jennifer Beals.

Sign the petition: http://chn.ge/1IrawaT

Ask Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and 99 Cents Only Stores to phase out toxic chemicals found in your products and stop exposing your customers, their children, and your employees to unnecessary risks.  It’s time to claim our independence from toxics in Dollar Stores!

See our Campaign for Healthier Solutions page for local details or visit www.nontoxicdollarstores.org for more details.

Posted in Campaign for Healthier Solutions, chemical, chemical disaster, chemical safety, chemical safety regulation, chlorine, Dollar Store Campaign, environmental health, environmental justice, right-to-know, toxic, toxic exposure, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, Who's in Danger?: Race | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Why inhalation studies are important…

Posted in #SinceWestTX, #wvwatercrisis, chemical disaster, chemical safety, chemical safety regulation, Chemical Valley, environmental health, MCHM, right-to-know, toxic, toxic exposure, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, Uncategorized, water quality, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

National Toxicology Program response

Read our letter to the National Toxicology Program regarding their most recent findings: NTP Letter

Posted in #SinceWestTX, #wvwatercrisis, chemical disaster, chemical safety, Chemical Safety Board, chemical safety regulation, Chemical Valley, environmental health, EPA, EPCRA, Executive Order 13650, fenceline community, Institute, Kanawha River, MCHM, Poverty and Chemical Disasters, right-to-know, toxic exposure, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, water quality, Who's in Danger?: Race, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Draft Roadmap Public Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 5/7/15

CONTACT:  Maya Nye, Executive Director, 304-389-6859 or maya@chemsafety.org

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

Roadmap to Chemical Release Prevention in Kanawha Valley

Join us for our May 15th Public Meeting!

Untitled

  • WHO? The Chemical Release Prevention Project sponsored by People Concerned About Chemical Safety, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preventing chemical disasters. Presentations by Maya Nye, Chemical Release Prevention Project coordinator, and Rick Engler, board member, U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
  • WHEN? Friday, May 15, 5:30-7:30pm (arrive by 5pm for the optional facility tour)
  • WHERE? BridgeValley Community and Technical College, The Advanced Technology Center (Room 132), 201 Science Park Drive, South Charleston, WV
  • WHY? Since October, People Concerned About Chemical Safety has been working with representatives from public health, environmental and emergency response agencies along with citizens, labor and chemical process experts to develop a roadmap for implementing the outstanding U.S. Chemical Safety Board recommendations.  Join us as we present our draft roadmap and hear from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on updates to their recommendation. As enacted under SB373, the Aboveground Storage Tank bill, the Public Water Supply Service Study Commission will review the outcomes of this roadmap in consideration of their final recommendations to the legislature in June 2015. This event is open to the public. Public comments accepted. Details at cc/WVChemSafety.

###

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Local group calls on DEP to prevent cutting corners in Freedom site cleanup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 4/27/14

Media Contact: Maya Nye, 304-389-6859 or maya@chemsafety.org

Charleston, WV — People Concerned About Chemical Safety (PCACS) is urging West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to prevent cutting corners on cleanup at the Freedom Industries site. They are also calling on lawmakers to fix federal laws that prevent DEP and public health officials from having the toxicological information they need to characterize risk and expedite cleanup.

Since the January 9, 2014 Elk River chemical spill, people have been pushing for testing to determine the long-term health effects of exposure to the crude-MCHM chemical compound. However, according to an April 26, 2014 Sunday Gazette-Mail article, “Freedom Industries seeks quick OK of leak site cleanup plan,” by Ken Ward, Jr., Freedom Industries officials are pressuring DEP to expedite the cleanup to “consummate a bankruptcy liquidation plan by mid-June.” Recent tests, however, performed by U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia Tech and University of Memphis leave more questions on the toxicity of the spilled material.

      • Past studies assume the spilled material to have the same fate properties regardless of temperature. However, a recent report from Virginia Tech and University of Memphis indicates differing fate properties[1] proving the previous hypothesis false. This indicates the potential for exposure concentrations to vary.
      • The U.S. Geological Survey recently determined that a form of methyl 4-methylcyclohexanecarboxylate (or MMCHC), was identified as another component of the spilled material[2] and that it “likely contributed to the tap water odor complaints of Charleston residents.”[3] No toxicological data is available for this chemical and the CDC has never established a screening level for this chemical.

What is clear from these recent findings is that the data does not yet exist to properly determine the risk at the Freedom cleanup site. In light of these findings, PCACS is urging DEP to ensure additional tests are performed to properly characterize site risk. To fund this process, DEP is eligible to seek restitution from the criminal case.

“The Freedom cleanup should not be driven by the bankruptcy settlement,” says Maya Nye, PCACS Executive Director. “We want to make sure that the cleanup is based on science so that years down the road we don’t find ourselves with another water contamination issue from this site. There is no reason why the criminals in this matter should get to walk away leaving taxpayers with the bill or a partially cleaned up site. They caused this mess and they should be responsible for ensuring that it is properly cleaned up, and that is going to require further toxicity testing,” says Nye.

Recent efforts co-sponsored by Senators Capito and Manchin to reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act still would not require that chemicals like MCHM are tested prior to being on the market. It also would preempt the state of West Virginia from taking such an initiative. According to Nye, “If the toxicity testing was required of chemicals before being placed on the market, DEP would have the information needed to characterize risk at the cleanup site, but they don’t. We are hopeful that our Senators will fix this gaping hole in current reform efforts.”

While they are not required to take comments into consideration under the Voluntary Remediation Program, DEP has set up an email address DEPVRPComments@wv.gov by which to receive comments regarding the Freedom cleanup. PCACS is urging citizens to contact DEP and tell them not to cut corners on cleanup. Visit www.chemsafety.org for more information.

 

- 30 -

 

 

[1] Partitioning, Aqueous Solubility, and Dipole Moment Data for cis- and trans-(4-Methylcyclohexyl)methanol, Principal Contaminants of the West Virginia Chemical Spill. Andrea M. Dietrich, Ashly Thomas, Yang Zhao, Elizabeth Smiley, Narasimhamurthy Shanaiah, Megan Ahart, Katherine A. Charbonnet, Nathan J. DeYonker, William A. Alexander, and Daniel L. Gallagher, Environmental Science & Technology Letters 2015 2 (4), 123-127 DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00061

[2] William T. Foreman, Donna L. Rose, Douglas B. Chambers, Angela S. Crain, Lucinda K. Murtagh, Haresh Thakellapalli, Kung K. Wang, Determination of (4-methylcyclohexyl)methanol isomers by heated purge-and-trap GC/MS in water samples from the 2014 Elk River, West Virginia, chemical spill, Chemosphere, Available online 24 December 2014, ISSN 0045-6535, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.11.006. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653514012648) Keywords: Methylcychlohexane methanol; Chemical spill; Contamination; Water; Isomer; GC/MS

[3] http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4095&from=rss – .VT1miGbfesg

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Take easy action by April 17th & upcoming events

 UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, April 21st @ 6:00PM image17-200x300

FILM: Dear White People

Sponsored by American Friends Service Committee and PCACS

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one’s unique path in the world.

 

the-human-experiment-for-web-204x300Tuesday, April 21st @ 8:30PM

FILM: The Human Experiment

With thousands of untested chemicals in our everyday products, have we all become unwitting guinea pigs in one giant human experiment? The powerful and inspiring new documentary “The Human Experiment” goes behind the scenes in the fight to protect us from these toxic products before they cause irrevocable harm to our health.

 

Wednesday, April 22nd @ 6:30PM

FILM: Elk River Blues

Sponsored by WVIFF,WV Rivers Coalition & WV Citizen Action Group

Elk River Blues, sparked into eximage19-300x168istence after the historic spill in January 2014 of over 10,000 gallons of a coal-cleaning chemical called ‘crude MCHM’, documents the culture of lax regulation and legislative oversight in West Virginia.

 

Continue reading

Posted in #SinceWestTX, #WVDerail, chemical safety, Chemical Valley, EPA, EPCRA, Executive Order 13650, MCHM, Poverty and Chemical Disasters, Process Safety Management, PSM, right-to-know, Risk Management Plans, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, Uncategorized, water quality, Who's in Danger?: Race | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Chemical Release Prevention Project investigates European Water Framework Directive

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3/11/15

CONTACT:  Maya Nye, Executive Director, 304-389-6859 -or- maya@chemsafety.org

  • WHAT: At the next monthly meeting of the Chemical Release Prevention Project, the Roadmap Planning Team will host a presentation on the European Water Framework Directive by Dr. Michael McCawley, Interim Chair, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at WVU’s School of Public Health.
  • WHO: People Concerned About Chemical Safety (PCACS) is a community organization in the Kanawha Valley that has been active in community affairs for over 25 years. Dedicated to the protection of health and safety of all who reside, work, and study in the vicinity of chemical facilities, we promote environmental justice and chemical safety through education and advocacy. PCACS is spearheading roadmap planning for a Chemical Release Prevention Program in Kanawha Valley.
  • WHEN: Friday, March 20 (10am-12pm); public comments will be taken at the end of the meeting.
  • WHY: Each month, PCACS convenes monthly meetings of the Roadmap Planning Team to plan next steps in the development of a Kanawha Valley chemical release prevention program. This program is guided by a recommendation made by the United States Chemical Safety Board following their investigations into the deadly 2008 Bayer CropScience explosion and the fatal 2010 DuPont phosgene release. The team is reviewing and considering models successful in reducing the frequency and severity of chemical disasters and best protect our water. Also being considered are recent chemical disasters including the Freedom Industries Elk River chemical leak and Bakken crude oil derailment, along with public input. As enacted under SB373, the Aboveground Storage Tank bill, the Public Water Supply Service Study Commission will review the outcomes of this roadmap in consideration of their final recommendations to the legislature in June 2015.

###

This project is funded in part by the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation.

Posted in #WVDerail, Bayer CropScience, chemical disaster, chemical safety, Chemical Safety Board, chemical safety regulation, Chemical Valley, Contra Costa County Industrial Safety Ordinance, DuPont, emergency response, environmental health, EPA, EPCRA, Executive Order 13650, Institute, Kanawha River, MCHM, OSHA, Poverty and Chemical Disasters, Process Safety Management, PSM, right-to-know, Risk Management Plans, RMP, toxic, Toxic Catastrophic Prevention Act, toxic exposure, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, water quality, West explosion, Who's in Danger?: Race, worker fatality, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off