West Va. Mother: ‘We live in a human sacrifice zone’

Dispatches from the Underclass

For our new weekly podcast, Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola and I interviewed a resident of West Virginia about the chemical spill that left 300,000 people without usable water for days after 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to clean coal leaked into the Elk River earlier this month.

West Va. officials insist that the water is now safe to drink but residents are highly skeptical especially since it’s unclear just how harmful the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) is. On top of that, emergency rooms in Charleston filled up with residents reporting exposure-related symptoms after the drinking advisory was lifted and many say they can still smell the chemical in the air while others report that their water is running brown.

Kevin and I spoke with West Virginia resident Paula Swearingen, a single mother who’s joined up with others in her community to get water to people affected by the spill. Paula, who comes…

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