This morning I spoke with Pat Calvert, the Upper James Riverkeeper with the James River Association. He was on his way to Lynchburg’s city hall for a press conference from the National Transportation Safety Board on yesterday’s train derailment that spilled thousands of galled of crude oil into the James River.
Calvert hadn’t slept much since yesterday afternoon. He said he and a number of others from the JRA, the Waterkeeper Alliance and a number of other organizations were out yesterday and again today taking pictures, taking water samples for testing and otherwise monitoring the spill.
“Staff from JRA and the Waterkeeper Alliance are on the water as we speak downstream doing sampling,” he said. “We’re also looking for adverse effects on wildlife.”
Upper James Riverkeeper Pat Calvert with petroleum hands near the site of the Lynchburg spill. Credit: Pat Calvert
I asked him about the reaction from those in the Lynchburg area who make their living on and near the James: “Sad. Concerned. They have questions.”
He added that “I’m getting just as much concern from the Richmond. People want to know about their drinking water.”