Activist for Minden says still no end date for completion of water samples

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MINDEN, WV (WVNS)– The small town of Minden in Fayette County gained national attention when its environmental concerns made the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities list in 2019. The town is battling the impact of PCB chemicals. The PCB’s reportedly are a result of contamination from the former Shaffer Equipment site.

Dr. Ayne Amjad’s father Hassan began a case study of health problems directly associated with Minden’s water. After his death she has taken on the case and is fighting for the people. She said she last talked to the EPA about two weeks ago and they are still waiting for the results from the samples.

“They told us they are still waiting for the sample sites to be read and analyzed because there is a backlog,” Amjad said. “And once they have a final amounts on those because there is a limit of how much is acceptable contamination is a better way to put it, then they will have a town meeting with all the residents.”

Dr. Amjed said there are areas they still want tested by the EPA including mine shafts. She said the people of Minden are the samples they do not need soil testing.

On Feb. 21, 2020, the EPA said the removal of the contaminated soil from the former Shaffer Equipment site was completed. EPA also said the data they collected on-site did not reflect relocating the residents of Minden.

“Its very hard for me to believe that people in Minden, in this tiny little town you know a strip of houses all have cancer it’s impossible, you know common sense is its impossible,” Amjed said. “But they want it on paper, scientist want it on paper so fine but that is the problem right now in Minden.”

She said while they do not know if the younger generation whose parents and grandparents got cancer will be affected, a certain extent of damage has already been done.

“I would say there is more of a psychological damage now for them because they are so depressed or fed up or defeated because they have been living there so long,” Amjed said. “So more of it is psychological but the damage as far as cancer in the residents now has already been done.”

The EPA said they will update the community with its findings and next steps this summer.

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