Monday, April 16, 2018

"What Lies Upstream" documents the 2014 Elk River chemical spill into the Elk River

On Monday, April 16, 2018, PBS Independent Lens aired the documentary “What Lies Upstream”, directed by Cullen Hoback.   The PBS link is here.

The film covers the massive chemical spill that left 300,000 people, including many in Charleston W Va, without drinking water for weeks.  The event occurred in January 2014 and is known as the Elk River Chemical Spill

The spill was initially noticed by residents from a licorice-like smell.

The scandal could be compared to what happened in Flint, MI, which is discussed in the second half of the film. There are other problems, as in Pittsburgh, and Garland TX. Other areas have lead poisoning results that have reportedly been hidden from the media. 

The settlement was reached in Dec, 2014, here

The filmmaker interviews residents, including one who claimed her son was six months behind in mental development. 

Donald Trump said about Flint incident, “now the cars are made in Mexico and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”
Lax regulation on discharges, influenced by lobbyists, goes back to the Clinton years.  Scientists cannot publish data on the problem, according to whistleblowers interviewed in the film. 
The 2017 film also has distribution from Gravitas Venturas.

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