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Candidate for Governor Smith Visits Paden City to Discuss Water Crisis

By Staff | Feb 19, 2020

Candidate for Governor Stephen Smith visited Paden City on February 2 to discus the water crisis with residents at the local Tasty Freez.

The crisis in Paden City is actually not a new problem – the problem is that the citizens just found out about it. The standard acceptable level of tetrachloroethylene (TCE) is 5 micrograms/L, however residents just received a notice that their levels are at 13.6.

An investigation of the local water utility’s own records revealed high levels of TCE dating back years-including a 49.6 level from one well in 2013. At that time, no notice was sent. TCE is odorless and tasteless, and boiling the tap water just concentrates the chemical.

Paden City residents have begun asking their neighbors about incidents of disease. A small, informal local survey showed 5 cases of ALS, as well as cases of MS (7), Acute Leukemia (8), lupus (4), brain cancer (5), and countless incidents of difficulty in breathing.

There is no alternative water supply for this community.

At the meeting, concerned citizens told Smith they planned to ask their city government to request that the governor call a state of emergency, so they can access safe water for themselves and their families.

But the worry is that this is going to be a long fight, given how long Minden in Fayette County has been fighting for environmental cleanup. Minden has been struggling with PCB contamination for decades.

“There is absolutely no excuse for any West Virginian to go without safe water,” said Smith.

Yet folks across West Virginia do, and it generally only gets attention if it’s a big town.

“We are proud to stand with Paden City citizens until this is resolved, and we are proud to fight alongside any West Virginian who wants something better,” Smith said.

Smith invites residents to email him directly to share concerns, or set up a phone call: stephen@wvcantwait.com. You can read more about Smith’s platform at www.wvcantwait.com/peoples-platform.