January 2014

Freedom Industries
AP

People affected by a 2014 chemical spill into a West Virginia river will soon receive their first batch of settlement checks from a class-action lawsuit.

Freedom Industries
AP

Residents and businesses in nine West Virginia counties left without tap water during a 2014 chemical spill can start filing claims.

According to a website set up to handle claims, forms were being accepted both online and by mail started Wednesday.

Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge in West Virginia has declined to grant preliminary approval of a $151 million settlement of class-action litigation stemming from the January 2014 water crisis, saying he wanted changes made to the deal.

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

Since July 1, the state Bureau for Public Health has been holding public hearings across West Virginia to discuss proposed Source Water Protection Plans.

The plans are the result of legislation approved after a 2014 chemical spill in Charleston left hundreds of thousands of people without usable drinking water for days.

Elk River Chemical spill
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Federal government scientists have released a final update of their study of the January 2014 chemical spill that temporarily fouled the drinking water supplies of 300,000 Charleston-area residents, reporting no significant new findings.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Source water protection plans are mandates water utilities are required to follow to keep drinking water safe. However, before 2014, following these plans in West Virginia was voluntary. Since the January 2014 Elk River chemical spill, though, legislation was put in place requiring about 125 water systems in the state to have these plans. The law also made what was already on the books much stronger.

Friday, July 1 is the deadline for water and sewer utilities to submit their new plans to the state Bureau for Public Health. Liz McCormick has been following this story and brings us a look into how two utilities – large and small – have been dealing with the new regulatory landscape.