Three hundred thousand people in West Virginia face a fifth day without drinking water from their taps after the leak of a coal-treatment chemical contaminated supplies in the Charleston region, Bloomberg reports.
But Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said Sunday there’s a “light at the end of the tunnel” and things are “trending in the right direction” after tests showed low levels of contamination from 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, the news service reports.
The accident has prompted bottled-water distribution because residents cannot use tap water for drinking, bathing, and other needs.
The Wall Street Journal has a front-page story that says the Freedom Industries chemical-storage site that leaked operated with almost no state and local monitoring.
And the chemical that spilled into the Elk River from the company’s Charleston facility “isn’t closely tracked by federal programs,” the paper reports.
The accident is also reigniting calls for Congress to toughen federal regulation of chemicals and industry testing requirements.
Legislation to strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act has languished for years on Capitol Hill.
Environmental Defense Fund scientists, in a weekend blog post, said the spill reveals the “epic failure” of the law passed in the mid-1970s.
“What is particularly maddening and outrageous is that no one — not local or state officials, not the company that owns the storage tank, not the federal government — can say anything even close to definitive about what risk the chemical poses to people, even in the short term, let alone over time,” EDF’s Richard Denison and Jennifer McPartland write.
“And that’s where the failures of TSCA come into sharp focus,” their post states.
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President Trump today said he'll be releasing his tax reformpacakge next week around the 100-day mark of his presidency. He promised that "businesses and individuals will receive a 'massive tax cut ... bigger I believe than any tax cut ever."
Despite President Trump's announcement that his tax reform proposal would be released this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney now says it will be ready in June. This week's announcement will be limited to "specific governing principles."
Donald Trump is expected Monday to sign an executive order which will mark his administration's first action on offshore oil and gas drilling. The order is expected to call for a "review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration."