West Virginia emergency planners never put together any strategy for dealing with spills of a toxic chemical from the Freedom Industries' tank farm, despite the facility's location just 1.5 miles upstream from a drinking water intake serving 300,000 people, officials acknowledged this morning. Local emergency official likewise didn't act to prepare for such an incident, even though they had been warned for years about storage of toxic chemicals so close to the West Virginia American Water plant serving the Kanawha Valley and surrounding region. "That's just something that's kind of fallen by the wayside," said Larry Zuspan, administrator of the Kanawha-Putnam Emergency Planning Committee.They had other priorities than health and safety I guess.
Freedom Industries' tanks don't fall under an inspection program, and the chemicals stored at the facility weren't considered hazardous enough to require environmental permitting.Just like most of the American media. [cross-posted at Firedoglake]