More News re WV Chemical Spill – updated on Jan. 17

Big news of the day: January 17:

The “responsible party” has filed for bankruptcy. See this article from Huffington Post, late on Friday: Freedom Industries, Company Behind West Virginia Chemical Spill, Files For Bankruptcy, Here some more details from an article in the Huff Post, on Jan. 18.

Background info: Under the National Contingency Plan, which is used for hazmat incidents, rather than the National Response Plan, which is used for natural disasters, the responsible party is identified and is financially and legally responsible.Often that party cannot withstand the law suits and response expenses and seek bankruptcy. The big exception was the BP Oil spill; that co. could afford the billions of dollars the cleanup and restitution payments needed.

 

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Some additional items that I found interesting. From watching Nightly News on PBS, it appears that the lax regulatory environment in the state of WV regarding the coal and chemical industries there is a large part of the problem.  As a storage facility rather than a production facility, the chemical plant was not inspected by the state.

January 13: West Virginia Is Just The Beginning For Chemical Spill Disasters
Thanks to the mass privatization of public water systems and the fake rhetoric of “clean coal,” we’re all at higher risk for disasters like the Elk River chemical spill.

CNN’s account of the “loose regulation” in WV.

January 15: From an editorial in the Washington Post:

 A combination of state regulators using a bot of sense – like asking about an old tank farm next to a drinking water facility- and better federal law – like requiring more information on chemical safety – might have prevented or limited the damage and dislocation the people of Charleston have seen. “

January 17: In the current issue of Business Week, they note  that presently 20 law suits are pending.

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