Event commemorates 3-year anniversary of W.Va. chemical spill/water contamination

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Three years ago Monday, Jan. 9, thousands across the Kanawha Valley and beyond were forced to stop using the water because of a chemical spill.

A small ceremony took place Monday morning at the state Capitol to reflect on the Freedom Industries spill.

Participants focused on what has changed since then to keep water sources safe. Several people involved with Advocates for a Safe Water System, law firms and the West Virginia Rivers Coalition spoke about the progress.

"One hundred twenty-five public water systems now have source water protection plans in place,” said Angie Rosser with the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “The question now before us is, will those plans be carried out? Will they be implemented? Will they be accountable to the public and better protecting source water and better respond to emergencies if they should happen?"

The January 2014 chemical spill contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 people in the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas.

Currently the Public Service Commission is investigating the West Virginia American Water company for its response time involving the spill.

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