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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"The U.S. has invested 16 years and more than $70 billion to train Afghan security forces, but the effort has been undermined by poor planning, training and oversight, a government watchdog said in a report Thursday. The 259-page report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or Sigar, offered a critical assessment of one of the top goals of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan—to train local forces so they can secure Afghanistan on their own. The report details how unprepared the U.S. was to train local forces when the war began in 2001 and concludes many of the problems that hampered the early days of the war still exist."
In 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration warned that individuals with terrorist ties were licensed to fly or repair planes. Years later, it is still a problem. Researcher Mark Schiffer found several known terrorists have FAA licenses when testing an algorithm on public records. Part of the problem is the FAA does not use photos on licenses and does not completely vet information. But they claim pilot certificates are to show the pilot's training level—not security—and pilots have to have government-issued IDs.
"Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business." His lawyer said Kushner and his colleagues usually forwarded news articles or political commentaries.
"President Trump will meet with major GOP donors for a private dinner on Tuesday in New York as part of a fundraising effort for the Republican National Committee, according to three people briefed on his plans." Trump is expected to talk about the party's agenda on the Hill and the midterm elections.