Provide your input to improve chemical safety!

ChemDisasterZone110 million. That’s how many Americans live close enough to a chemical facility to be at risk from a disaster.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now formally asking for public input on ways to improve its Risk Management Program which covers thousands of chemical facilities.


Tell them that we need safety to be a requirement for chemical facilities:

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Board Member Pam Nixon Appointed to Public Water System Supply Study Commission

On September 4th, Governor Tomblin announced his appointments to the Public Water System Supply Study Commission (PWSSSC).  Congratulations to one of our long-time members, past spokesperson and community advocate, Pam Nixon, on her appointment as the citizen representative!

Additional appointments include:

  • Dr. Rahul Gupta, Executive Director of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department appointed by Senate President Jeff Kessler (non-voting);
  • Delegate Nancy Guthrie, Democratic representative for Kanawha County’s 36th district appointed by House Speaker Tim Miley (non-voting);
  • Rick Roberts, P.E., who will serve as a professional engineer experienced in the design and construction of public water systems;
  • Ed Watson, who will serve as a hydrologist experienced in determining the flow characteristics of rivers and streams;
  • Dr. Mike McCawley, who will serve as an environmental toxicologist or other public health expert familiar with the impact of contaminants on the body; and
  • Randy Huffman,Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Dr. Letitia Tierney, Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health;
  • Jimmy Gianato (chair), Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management;
  • Mike Albert, chairman of the Public Service Commission.
  • Remaining appointments are outstanding from the WV Municipal League and the WV Rural Water Association.

The first meeting of the PWSSSC is on September 22 at 10am and will be held at the Governor’s Press Conference room adjacent to the Secretary of State’s office at the WV State Capitol.


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Chemical leak reported at the Dupont plant in Belle, WV

Posted: Aug 30, 2014 5:54 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 30, 2014 10:34 AM EDT
By Jeffrey Spradlin, Overnight Producer

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a reported chemical release at the Dupont plant in Belle, West Virginia.

According to Kanawha County 911 dispatchers, the call came in as a vapor release just before 4 a.m. Saturday, August 30.

Dispatchers say that the leak was from a Amiens unit that had been shut down for maintenance. Emergency crews began containing the diluted Amiens, and was collected and treated on on site…

Read more at :

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‘Unintended consequences’: Why West Virginia’s landmark chemical tank safety legislation matters

Commercial Photography Services of West Virginia

August 28, 2014
Sustained Outrage blog post by Ken Ward Jr.

The pressure continues to build on Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to call a special session so West Virginia can walk back the landmark chemical tank safety and public drinking water law that miraculously made its way through the Legislature in the wake of January’s Freedom Industries spill and the Kanawha Valley water crisis that followed…


Posted in Bayer CropScience, Bhopal disaster, chemical, chemical disaster, chemical safety, Chemical Safety Board, Chemical Safety Improvement Act, chemical safety regulation, Chemical Valley, DuPont, emergency response, environmental health, EPA, EPCRA, Executive Order 13650, fenceline community, Institute, Kanawha River, Ken Ward Jr., MCHM, methyl isocyanate, MIC, Poverty and Chemical Disasters, right-to-know, Risk Management Plans, Sustained Outrage, toxic, toxic exposure, Toxic Substance Control Act, TSCA, Wasting Our Waterways, water quality, Who's in Danger?: Race, worker fatality, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

CDC: No WV health officials specifically trained for chemical disaster

August 19, 2014
by Dave Boucher, Charleston Daily Mail
Capitol Notebook Blog

None of West Virginia’s state public health officials were trained to respond to a chemical disaster at the time of the recent massive chemical leak and water contamination, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
West Virginia doesn’t have any state health officials specifically trained in responding to chemical disasters like the one that happened at Freedom Industries in January, according to a new federal report…

Read the full blog post at

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Protect Farmworker Families from Toxic Pesticide Exposure


For decades, the people who harvest our food have risked their health in the course of their daily work, being continually exposed to pesticides just so that we can have food to eat. You can play a key role in helping to push the EPA to keep their promise to farmworkers and to do their job to protect the people who harvest our food.

The EPA is proposing revisions to the Worker Protection Standard that provide workplace protections to farmworkers. To help make your voice heard on this issue, click here.

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Valve failure causes explosion, leak at Nitro facility

by David Gutman, Staff writer and Ken Ward Jr.

Valves failed Wednesday on two chemical storage tanks at a Nitro industrial waste-handling facility, causing an explosion and an oil leak that was contained within the operation’s spill-collection system, officials said. – See more at:


Posted in chemical, chemical disaster, chemical safety, Chemical Safety Board, Chemical Safety Improvement Act, chemical safety regulation, Chemical Valley, emergency response, Kanawha River, Ken Ward Jr., Manchin, Nitro, Poverty and Chemical Disasters, right-to-know, water quality, WV, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Toledo water ban lifted

As of this morning, the Toledo water ban has been lifted. Water distribution has ceased even though some residents don’t feel safe resuming normal consumption just yet. Having experienced similar circumstances in WV, it’s easy to relate.

Thanks to those who assisted in water relief efforts for our Toledo neighbors. Let us not forget others in Detroit, other parts of WV and Bhopal who still need clean drinking water.


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PCACS helps with Toledo Water Relief


When the Elk River Chemical Spill hit, we didn’t know how long it would last or when our water would be safe.  It was a frightening and stressful time for over 300,000 West Virginians.  Six months out from the event, our neighbors in Toledo, OH are dealing with a similar situation as an algal bloom has contaminated the drinking water supply for 500,000 people.  A Do Not Drink ban is still in place and they are uncertain of when the ban will be lifted.  Parents will have to bathe their children in bottled water, cook with bottled water, brush their teeth with bottled water…  Sadly, we know what that’s like.

It’s time for West Virginians to do what West Virginians do best and help our neighbors.

People Concerned About Chemical Safety is traveling to Toledo to deliver water but WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We need to raise $1,000 to rent a van that we can fill full of bottled water.

Won’t you help?

  • $250 will help us get the van
  • $150 will help with gas
  • $600+ needed for water

If we don’t reach our goal of $1,000, we’ll do what we can with what we’ve got, but $1,000 is a drop in the bucket of what is needed for the people of Toledo.  Anything in excess will go toward on the ground relief efforts as directed by the people on the ground.


Posted in emergency response, environmental health, MCHM, toxic, toxic exposure, Uncategorized, water quality, WV Water Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Crude MCHM more toxic than self-reported by Eastman Chemical: Local response to new toxicity data



Charleston, WV — People Concerned About Chemical Safety (PCACS) is calling on Governor Tomblin and the Center for Disease Control to swiftly undertake additional testing on crude MCHM in light of data released today by Dr. Andrew Whelton at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) annual conference.

At a joint presentation, Dr. Andrew Whelton, University of South Alabama professor, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Health a Officer and Executive Director, Major General James Hoyer of WV National Guard, and Dr. David Latif, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Administrative Sciences, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, will be presenting lessons learned from the Elk River chemical spill to public health officials from across the country.  New toxicity data released this morning by Dr. Whelton reveal that crude MCHM is more toxic than previously reported by Eastman Chemical Manufacturing.  This data was compiled by Dr. Whelton with a group of University of South Alabama graduate students during an originally unfunded expedition to collect water samples from impacted homes in West Virginia immediately following the January 9th Freedom Industries Elk River chemical spill.  Following the incident, the National Science Foundation recognized the scientific need for these studies and stepped in to enable the work to continue.  Dr. Whelton and crew, including Caroline Novy, the graduate student of the University of South Alabama who completed the testing, are now collaborating with the United States Geological Survey to examine specifically how the organisms they tested are affected by crude MCHM exposure.

While the governor-funded West Virginia Testing Assessment Project reviewed existing data provided by Eastman Chemical to the Centers for Disease Control — data upon which worker exposure limits and public health directives were determined — it was Dr. Whelton and his students who independently sought to verify the basis for the Eastman data.  Their results leave many concerned for their health as well as the lax regulations that govern chemicals such as crude MCHM.

This information has national implications for public health in how we determine safe levels of exposure for the general public, for worker safety and how we determine worker exposure limits and handling procedures, how we regulate chemicals not intended for human consumption, and how much faith emergency responders should place in industry data.

“We can no longer rely on industry self-reporting to protect the public health,” says Maya Nye, Executive Director of People Concerned About Chemical Safety.  “We need checks and balances, and we need additional tests to understand the long-term health effects of worker and community exposure to this chemical and all other chemicals grandfathered in under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).”

People Concerned About Chemical Safety has already garnered over 1,000 signatures on a petition to fund further studies of the TSCA regulated chemical that was grandfathered in without requiring adequate tests to determine human health hazards.

“Our goal is to have one signature for every person impacted by this chemical disaster, and for our government to take our call seriously.  If this chemical disaster had happened in New York, Chicago, Boston or Los Angeles rather than West Virginia, I have no doubts that these tests would already be underway.  West Virginians have a right-to-know how exposure to this chemical could affect us over the long haul.”

Review additional information on the recent tests at Dr. Whelton’s website at  To sign PCACS petition, click HERE. ABOUT PEOPLE CONCERNED ABOUT CHEMICAL SAFETY (PCACS)

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