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Extra Extra Special Edition: Second chemical involved in W. Va. leak

There’s been a lot of great reporting coming out of West Virginia recently as reporters continue to cover a chemical spill that contaminated water for about 300,000 people. National publications investigated the lax government oversight and toothless regulations that applied – or, perhaps, failed to apply – to Freedom Industries.

But let’s not forget the local reporters, the folks working at the Charleston (W. Va) Gazette, who have been chronicling the spill from the front lines. Every day they seem to unearth new, grim details about the leak. Instead of one big story, they’ve steadily covered the water crisis with daily articles that provide a wealth of important information for local readers.

Here are few stories that deserve recognition:

  • A second chemical leaked into the water supply. Freedom Industries waited two weeks to tell state and federal officials. When they did, they refused to say much about the chemical, calling the information “proprietary.” A Bloomberg Businessweek writer covering the story a day later called the Gazette’s reporting “indispensable."
  • The CDC erred by not warning pregnant women sooner about the amount of toxic chemical “Crude MCHM” that leaked into the water supply. Read the full story here. When the CDC gave the no-drink order, the Gazette was stonewalled by public health officials.
  • The water-relief tankers brought in after the spill were filled with water from the contaminated Charleston system. You can read that story here.

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