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WVPA Sharing: Water Resources Commission investigating chemical spill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Legislature’s Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources is launching an investigation into the recent chemical spill in Kanawha County that led to the ongoing contamination crisis.

Senate Majority Leader John Unger (D-Berkeley), who chairs the commission, made the announcement Jan. 14, 2014.

“This whole series of events is unacceptable,” said Unger. “While the response to this crisis has been commendable, the Legislature is determined to work to ensure that this never happens again.”

The chemical spill, originating from the property of Freedom Industries along the Elk River, caused a nine-county State of Emergency and a “Do Not Use” water order for more than 300,000 West Virginians.

Unger says the Commission will also be looking at the state agencies responsible for oversight of these types of facilities. “We want to find out how long this chemical was leaking and who knew about it, and if no one knew, why not. There will definitely be a change to the way things have been done in past.”

The Commission will be watching the situation closely, and Unger said he will introduce legislation that provides oversight of these types of storage facilities and will protect our water resources.

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