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After Calling Water Crisis in Gary “Political Hoopla,” Justice Found Liable for 3,000 Water Pollution Violations

CHARLESTON, WV-- During his Monday COVID-19 briefing, Governor Justice dismissed the water crisis in Gary as “political hoopla.” The town of just over 800 has not had any access to running water in over a week during an unprecedented global health crisis. 

Just yesterday, a federal judge ruled that Jim Justice’s coal company was responsible for more than 3,000 violations of federal clean water standards stemming from pollution discharged from a coal mine in McDowell County (, 7.27.2020). 


“Jim Justice has been polluting our water for years and when West Virginians step up to help a town in need he calls it “political hoopla.” It’s no surprise that Justice’s coal mines were caught violating clean water standards over 3,000 times and fined $160 million. Justice is dismissing the concerns of the people in McDowell who are suffering from this water crisis because he’s been one of the worst polluters in West Virginia,” said Democratic Nominee for Governor Ben Salango. “As a product of southern West Virginia, I know firsthand the neglect that area of the state and particularly McDowell County, has felt under Jim Justice’s failed leadership. That will change when I’m governor,” Salango concluded.


On Sunday, Salango hand delivered 300 gallons of bottled water to the town and joined local leaders in distributing it to local residents. Salango unveiled his clean water plan in May.