Water Crisis in Philly Highlights Our Broken National SystemAn industrial chemical spill upstream of the city’s water intakes is poised to con...Water Crisis in Philly Highlights Our Broken National System
An industrial chemical spill upstream of the city’s water intakes is poised to contaminate the water supply. If you feel like you’ve seen this movie before, it’s because you have.
On March 26, Philadelphia announced that residents should stock up on bottled water because an industrial chemical spill several miles upstream of the city’s water intakes was poised to contaminate the water supply. The spill reportedly included at least 8,000 gallons—or an “unknown amount”—of chemicals, including butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, and methyl methacrylate, which the city dutifully explained are “used in making products such as headlight covers.” Gee, exactly what residents wanted to be drinking. Store shelves quickly emptied, understandably, and residents who didn’t instantly join the panic complained that they couldn’t find bottled water anywhere.
If you feel like you’ve seen this movie before, it’s because you have. And it’s not Best Picture material. Seems like only yesterday that in East Palestine, Ohio, just a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania border, a train derailment spilled thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals including, yes, the Philadelphia favorite butyl acrylate, along with a toxic soup of other chemicals, such as vinyl chloride that officials lit on fire to avoid an explosion, or so they said. The long-term effects of the East Palestine disaster on local public and private drinking water supplies must be evaluated.