NJ Mag Cover Tackles WV Chemical Spill

“It’s your decision,” Gov. Tomblin said at a press conference on Jan. 20. “I’m not going to say absolutely, 100 percent that everything is safe. But what I can say is, if you do not feel comfortable, then don’t use it.” As of Feb. 5, schools were continuing to close following reports of strange smells and symptoms—including, in at least one case, fainting—that they believed was caused by the water. All the while, the water continued to emit a strange odor: a sickly, saccharine licorice scent. “The fact is,” says Gupta, “we are unwilling participants of a live human experiment.”