Most people who know me know that I’m a proud graduate of West Virginia University. West Virginia, the border of which is only a twenty minute drive from my hometown in Pennsylvania, holds a special place in my heart, and I feel deeply connected to the state where I spent 4 and a half years of my life. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and I say that having traveled to four continents on this planet.
So I was incensed to learn about the chemical spill last week that has left 300,000 people in the state capital without potable water.
Though businesses and restaurants are now re-opening, they are doing so at enormous personal cost to provide bottled water to customers. No one really knows how long it will take to clean up, and I’ve been dismayed to find little suggestion of how I can help (friends in WV, if you know, please comment!).
As is typical in West Virginia, people help their neighbors and complain very little. I’ve seen a few great blog posts, namely this one, that express the deep seated rage that those residents have a right to in the piss poor management of this spill by Freedom Industries.
Friends who are residents of West Virginia, I hope you are writing to your state representatives demanding legislative changes that prevent this and severely punish companies who are lax about safety regulations.
To everyone else who reads my blog, Freedom Industries has their address and staff contact emails just listed right on their website. Please write to them. Write that what they did to save their bottom line still has unforseen consequences. Demand that they make reparations to the businesses who are hurt by this. Demand even more strongly that they take responsibility for those whose health has been affected by their negligence.
Someone quoted on Facebook recently that if an individual had done this, it would be considered terrorism. A company did this. A group of individuals. And whether or not it was an “accident,” they are still responsible both financially, and in my opinion, criminally, for what they have done. Let’s insist on that together.