Whopping $11,000 Fine In West Virginia Water Poisoning Will Surely Make Polluters Think Twice
In a stirring victory for environmental justice, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has slapped Freedom Industries -- the company thatleaked toxic coal-washing fluid into West Virginia's Elk River and rendered the water unsafe for over 300,000 people -- with an enormous pair of fines that will teach other companies a real lesson about unsafe chemical storage. In another example of Big Government running roughshod over private industry, OSHA body-slammed the company with
a $7,000 fine for keeping chemicals in diked areas that were not “liquid tight.”
The administration fined Freedom an addition $4,000 for not providing employees with a proper hand railing to walk over the storage dikes.
We bet Freedom Industries is real sorry they were so lax on the whole safety thing now.
For the sake of keeping you nice Wonketteers from hyperventilating, we should probably point out that OSHA is not the last regulatory agency that Freedom Industries will possibly have to answer to, or even the most significant one. And this fine is only for the unsafe working conditions at the plant -- OSHA doesn't have jurisdiction over punishing the company for poisoning most of a state's drinking water. But then we'll send you reaching for a paper bag to breathe into by reminding you that Freedom Industries has filed for bankruptcy, so god only knows whether it will end up paying any fines at all.
We'd suggest that you have a nice refreshing glass of water to help you cool down, but we'll leave it up to you whether that's a risk you want to take.
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