The recent coal-prep chemical leak into the Elk River and the resulting state of emergency for several counties illustrate perfectly the extreme vulnerability of our water supply and what can happen when it's compromised.
The folks in the southern West Virginia coalfields go through this all the time. And, thus far, the human costs are paramount, but the toll it takes on our wildlife will soon become apparent.
Our water is at risk across the board from sludge ponds, mountaintop removal mining, coal prep plants, chemical plants, fracking, injection wells, etc., along with poorly enforced or nonexistent regulations.
Yet, our local news media - and The News and Sentinel in particular - persist in minimizing the understandable environmental concerns of those they label "radicals" or "fringe groups." I'm not a radical - I'm a West Virginia citizen, a voter, a taxpayer, and a 20-plus-year subscriber to this newspaper.
I'd think this incident might serve as a revelation to some people, but it's hard to form balanced opinions on issues when the media that keeps us (supposedly impartially) informed perceives its primary role to be that of tireless cheerleader for business and industry.