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Group to Launch Campaign for Public Takeover of Water Company

Foo Conner

An advocacy group formed after the January 2014 Elk River Chemical spill will launch a campaign aimed to create a publicly-owned water system in the Kanawha Valley.

In a Thursday news release, Advocates for a Safe Water System says the organization will launch the “Our Water” campaign Tuesday at the University of Charleston.  The group seeks to have a public takeover of West Virginia American Water.

Advocates for a Safe Water System accuses the utility of "failures to invest in a safe, reliable water system." The group also plans to outline the need for a locally-owned water system.

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8 at noon at the Rotunda Patio located behind Riggleman Hall on UC's campus.

The group says information related to the Our Water campaign will be available at ourwaterwv.org as of September 8. The new website will include a link to a petition as well as other campaign information. 

The January 2014 spill of a coal scrubbing chemical at the Freedom Industries site in Charleston spurred a tap water ban for 300,000 West Virginians for up to 10 days. West Virginia American Water’s intake is located a mile downstream of the spill site.

A native of Washington, West Virginia, Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. After bouncing around a variety of newsroom roles at WVPB, he now focuses on state-level politics and government, as well as breaking news. Dave plays on the world's best-worst softball team, Chico's Bail Bonds. He can be reached via email at dmistich@wvpublic.org and you can follow him on Twitter @davemistich.

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