|COMMENT By Bob Weaver|
Following hundreds of slurry and chemical spills by coal and chemical industries into West Virginia's streams and rivers over 50 years, many affecting private wells, 300,000 customers are still wary about using the public water after a toxic spill in the Elk River.
This week, schools continue to close because of the licorice odor.
Bankruptcy court is reporting that Freedom Industries holding companies gave $6 million in "bonus" money to company executives months before filing bankruptcy. The company was responsible for the toxic spill.
Media is reporting a month later that most don't trust the water, particularly for drinking, and are using bottled water.
Top officials are telling citizens they think the water is safe, but none will actually say so. It's been a "use your judgment" situation.
Longtime WV reporter Dave Peyton, who has covered spills and pollution in the Mountain State for 50 years, said things would have been back to normal, people using the water like they've always done after such debacles, except for one thing - the smell of licorice.
The licorice smell still wafts out of some showers, toilets and taps in homes and businesses, and the odor has caused cancellations at five schools.
See WEST VIRGINIA GETS WORSE, DESPERATE AND DEADLY - Oppression Done Under The Sun
WHAT, ME WORRY? 100,000 GALLON SLURRY SPILL DARKENS KANAWHA CO. WATER - "Much Of Nothing" Says Official