Minden sewer project contractor puts work on hold amid PCB risk - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Minden sewer project contractor puts work on hold amid PCB risk


MINDEN, W.Va. (WVVA) There was new fallout Wednesday over a proposed sewer plant in Minden. In recent weeks, Oak Hill leaders overseeing the project have received backlash from residents over the possibility that the project will kick up a dangerous chemical in their community. 

As it turns out, residents are not the only ones with concerns. One of the project's contractors, Tribute Contracting & Consultants, said Wednesday the company is putting its work on hold until they can be assured there is no safety risk to their crews and residents. 

Tribute Contracting & Consultants is only one of five contractors on the project being overseen by the Charleston-based engineering firm Thrasher. 

According to Minden resident Susie Worley-Jenkins, the project will bring waste water from Oak Hill and Ace Adventure Resort to a site in Minden.

"They went to Oak Hill (Ace Adventure). They asked Oak Hill for this. Oak Hill was also having big problems with their sewer. And they decided to go for this 23-29 million dollar project." 

Tribute Contracting and Consultant's decision comes after EPA testing in June showed toxic levels of the chemical in four different sections of Minden, one of which City Manager Bill Hannabass acknowledged Wednesday falls near the proposed construction site. He said crews may look for an alternative path forward to avert the risk. 

109 of Minden's 300 residents claim to have been at some point diagnosed with cancer, but the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to include the area on the National Priorities List, a superfund site that would help residents relocate. "When something is happening that much, you know something's wrong," adds Worley-Jenkins. 

Darrell Thomas' daughter has had a hysterecomy and lost a child.  "You can't get one elected leader to voice their opinion. They say we're waiting for this, that. But while they're waiting we're dying." 

WVVA News reached out to a spokesperson for Thrasher Engineering on Wednesday, who would not comment on the safety risk, but said the sewer project is moving forward.


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