When Ken Ward Jr. first heard about the spill in the Elk River near Charleston, WV, he called a source that had always been reliable at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Hours later, after state officials had warned more than 300,000 residents to no longer use their drinking water, Ward was making progress in helping residents understand what had happened. He had finally learned the name of the chemical that had spilled and was causing so much havoc. Now, he was back with his source at Environmental Protection but there was not much the official could tell him about the chemical Crude MCHM.