Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
In the days following the leak of 75,000 gallons of a coal industry chemical into West Virginia’s Elk River, much was made of how little the now-bankrupt company responsible, Freedom Industries, or any regulatory agencies knew about the properties of crude MCHM the chemical that tainted the water supply across nine counties.
Even after the water had been declared safe, health officials suggested that pregnant women stick to bottled water, leading everyone else to wonder whether they were still at risk. At a press conference this past Monday, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin told the 300,000 people affected that they had to decide for themselves whether they wanted to trust the water supply.
And Freedom Industries has just given them a new reason not to. Twelve full days after the spill was discovered, the company has revealed that a second, previously undisclosed chemical was also in the mix. The company told investigators that about 300 gallons of PPH had been added to the tank containing the MCHM, the Charleston Gazette reported Tuesday night; it’s unknown how much leaked from the tank or made it to the river:
Mike Dorsey, director of homeland security and emergency response for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said he learned about the additional chemical’s presence in the tank that leaked at about 10 a.m., just before a routine daily meeting with various agencies and Freedom Industries about the situation at the site.
Dorsey said Freedom Industries President Gary Southern asked to speak with him privately, told him about the chemical being in the tank, and handed him data sheets on the material, which Dorsey referred to as polyglycol ethers.
“He said, ‘I’m going to have a terrible day today,’” Dorsey said.
Little is known about this second chemical, either: it’s believed to be “less lethal” than crude MCHM, and is believed to irritate the eyes and skin and be harmful if swallowed.
State officials say that the water treatment process meant to remove the MCHM probably took care of the PPH as well, but they’ll be going back and retesting the water for it.
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.