State officials rejected the warnings of Marshall University environmental engineer Scott Simonton when he claimed that MCHM was still lingering in the local water supply, but I’d say he’s been vindicated. Not that that’s necessarily a good thing.
Schools across the areas are closing as the chemical cocktail is detected in elementary school cafeterias.
From the Charleston Gazette
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Three more Kanawha County schools abruptly closed on Thursday because of complaints that the water had a black licorice odor — the smell associated with the coal-cleaning chemical that leaked into the Elk River last month. [...]
On Wednesday, Riverside High School and Midland Trail Elementary also dismissed students early because while they were flushing their water systems in response to complaints about the smell, one teacher fainted, and several students and employees complained of lightheadedness and burning eyes and noses. Those two schools remained closed today. [...]
Around 6 a.m., Robins Elementary cook Nicole Carte said she turned the dishwasher on and ran hot water in the sinks, like she has been told to do each morning, and the black licorice smell was instantly detectable. Carte’s eyes began burning, and fellow cook Brandy Holstein said she felt nauseated.
In some ways this situation feels typical — why would we expect anything less? — but on the other hand it’s inexplicable that no one has been properly held accountable for this and that the response to it has been utterly half-assed.
Perhaps more depressing is the fact that very few people in the national media seem to care.
This is an ongoing tragedy that demands ongoing vigilance. It may also require years of followup medical exams.