Surviving the West Virginia Water Crisis [Slide Show]

A disastrous chemical leak in Charleston reveals the long-simmering tension between industry and environmental regulation in the Mountain State
1 of 10


Tim Walker, Sr., former fire chief of the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department, returned to his station to help with relief efforts. “We’re supposed to help each other, that’s what human beings do,” he says.....[ More ]


Zack Pullens, a resident of Pratt, W.Va., helps load cases of water into a truck for distribution. Supplies were limited to two cases of water per family.....[ More ]


As volunteers look on, a train laden with coal zooms past the water distribution center in Pratt, W.Va.....[ More ]


Pallets of FEMA-donated water fill the Pratt Volunteer Fire Department station. Dozens of these pallets were dropped off at Pratt for distribution to the public.....[ More ]


After initially selling out at the beginning of the water ban, many grocery stores in the affected area managed to stock up on cases of water.....[ More ]


A large vacuum tube draped over a retaining wall extracts the remnants of the spilled chemical. In an effort to contain the leak, cleanup crews worked around the clock.....[ More ]


At the leak site, a cleanup worker examines a tube from a water extraction truck. The workers were instructed to remove all standing water from the site, including the puddles from a recent rainstorm.....[ More ]


At a late-night press conference, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin addressed a crowd of reporters.....[ More ]


The Freedom Industries chemical facility is a short drive from downtown Charleston, W.Va., the state capital.....[ More ]


The tanks on this site stored compounds used in preparing raw coal. Last week chemicals leached from the site into the Elk River, contaminating water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

Starting Thanksgiving

Enter code: HOLIDAY 2015
at checkout

Get 20% off now! >


Email this Article