Friday, January 17, 2014

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

Well here's a surprise. The ominpotent invisible hand of the free market flips the bird to approximately one third of the residents of West Viriginia. Freedom Industries tells its creditors to take a flying leap:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Freedom Industries, the company that fouled thousands of West Virginians' water with a chemical leak last week, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today.

The company's assets and liabilities are "unknown," according to the filing. Under the bankruptcy code, Chapter 11 permits a company to reorganize and continue operating. Chapter 11 also requires all creditors to stop all collection attempts.

Freedom owes $3.66 million to its top 20 unsecured creditors, according to bankruptcy documents.
I'm pretty sure that doesn't include the many plaintiffs currently filing lawsuits over the loss of potable water for a week and counting.

Meanwhile, this is how that paragon of corporate virtue has been dealing with delivering emergency water supplies:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia American Water pulled its bulk water tankers out of service in Kanawha County Thursday evening, after complaints that the water being distributed to residents had the same odor as the chemical-tainted water from last week's Freedom Industries spill into the Elk River.

Water company spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the tankers had been filled near the plant after zero levels of the chemical "Crude MCHM" were recorded. "But to avoid any concerns," she said, "just to reassure our customers, we're filling up the tankers from another system."
Photo credit to Robert Johnson of Business Insider who tells us this is what he saw at his hotel.
The sink filled quickly and this was left behind 60 minutes later after it slowly drained.
Click over for more photos and ask yourself would you bathe in water the color of what is still standing in his bathtub? I'll be interested in seeing what they do about billing for water use after the spill.

[Big thanks to Michael J.W. Stickings of The Reaction for kindly linking in at Mike's Blog Roundup. (Twitter: @mjwstickings).]

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