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West Virginians still don’t trust their water, a month after spill

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West Va. water still not trustedOne month ago today, hundreds of thousands of residents of Charleston, W.Va., and surrounding areas woke up to the news that their water had been contaminated by a coal-processing chemical that had accidentally spilled into the nearby Elk River the day before. Some continued to drink and wash with the water, despite its strange licorice odor.

But even after state authorities proclaimed the water safe and lifted the restrictions on water use for all counties on Jan. 19, people remaindistrustful of what is coming out of their taps, and many have lost faith in federal, state and local officials.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed the water “appropriate for use,” it is advising pregnant women to drink bottled water until the concentration of the chemical, MCHM, falls below a yet-to-be-determined level in tap water.


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