Stormwatch

W.Va. residents testified about the water crisis

Local - 2/4/2014 9:33 AM by Nadine Grimley
CHARLESTON - Dozens of skeptical citizens urged state officials to produce meaningful regulatory and enforcement changes following January's chemical spill.

More than 50 West Virginians testified about the water crisis in the House of Delegates Chamber on Monday.  They urged lawmakers to broaden efforts to regulate above ground storage facilities. 

On January 9, 2014, a leaky tank at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for roughly 300,000 people.  

At the hearing, citizens pushed for monitoring to track the spill's effect on people's health. 

"This is the single most important issue that you as a legislature can address this session," said Rachelle Beckner, "Invest money in inspecting these facilities, do not reduce any existing water regulations you need to strengthen them, you need to develop a crisis plan and implement the recommendations from the Chemical Safety Board.  Show me and my girls that you know how to do the right thing and protect the people who elected you to office."

The testimony underscored lingering public distrust, even after officials declared the water safe. 

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