Kanawha Commissioners Want to Identify Elk River Hot Spots

By: Hillary Hall Email
By: Hillary Hall Email

UPDATE 1/31/14 @ 6:25 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- Nearly 100 potential threats to the water supply have been identified along the Elk River.

Now, Kanawha County commissioners have asked state leaders to map out all the potential hazards.

Kanawha County commissioners are focused on preventing future spills like the one at Freedom Industries.

They said doing so means identifying spots where issues could pop up at any moment.

That includes companies that do everything by the books and those that don't necessarily follow the rules.

Commissioners have asked state officials to map out potentially hazardous locations along the Elk River.

They said those spots include bridges where chemicals could be transported by trucks and also chemical plants near the river.

Right now, county officials said that's roughly more than 100 potential sites.

They said the Elk River has a big watershed and that means another spill could cause widespread damage.

"I think the public understands now that there wasn't any thought of this by those that had the power to regulate, some will say maybe the county should've regulated tanks, but no one regulated in this state, as I understand it, above-ground tanks," said Kanawha County Commissioner, Kent Carper.

Kanawha County leaders said they hope to look at current data and previous reports to get a better idea of all of the potential sites.

They also said they're concerned about unreported spots.

That why they want to work with more departments to get a closer look at complaints filed with them.

Kanawha County leaders said that will help them get a better look at the whole picture.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Prevention was the topic at Thursday's Kanawha County Commission meeting after a stressful few weeks have passed since the water contamination crisis.

Commissioners have asked state officials to map out all hazardous locations along the Elk River to hopefully prevent another water contamination issue, like the leak at Freedom Industries, in the future.

These hazardous locations can be things like chemical plants or even bridges that cross the Elk River that may have dangerous materials being carried by trucks.

So far, in a rough count, more than 100 locations have been identified.

Commissioners want to take all precautions available to ensure the water safety of West Virginia citizens.

County Commission officials are also getting ready for the distribution of more bottled water Thursday.

The distribution locations have not been released yet, but those sites will be available tomorrow morning after the shipment arrives.

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