MANCHIN URGES EPA TO ADD MINDEN TO THE NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST AND GRANT ACCESS TO EPA’S SUPERFUND

MINDEN, WV (WOAY) – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (ENR), is again urging U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to add Minden, West Virginia to the EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL). In his letter, Manchin highlights a recent resolution passed by the West Virginia State Legislature that demonstrates broad bipartisan support for helping the residents of Minden. Minden’s designation onto the EPA’s National Priorities List would provide access to the EPA’s superfund, which could aide in providing specialized medical care and other services to Minden residents who have experienced long term exposure to the known carcinogen, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from equipment stored by the Shaffer Company. The residents of Minden show a significantly higher rate of cancer than other residents in Fayette County.

 

The letter said in part: “Last November, I submitted my comments in support of the EPA’s proposal to add the Shaffer site to the NPL. The damaged and unused equipment stored by the Shaffer Company at the Minden site contained harmful polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a known carcinogen that was banned in 1979 from the United States. This contamination has had lasting effects on the Minden community that can only be properly addressed once the Shaffer site is added to the NPL. With this designation, the residents of Minden, West Virginia can finally begin to find some relief. Health reports clearly show that Minden residents have a significantly higher rate of cancer than that of other Fayette County residents. They need our help.”

 

Read the full letter below or click here:

 

Dear Administrator Wheeler:

 

Under your leadership, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has proposed the addition of the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area in Minden, West Virginia (“Shaffer”) to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites. As you know, I strongly support this designation and sincerely appreciate your personal commitment to this effort. As you work to finalize the 2019 update to the NPL, I wanted to make sure you were aware of a recent resolution passed by the West Virginia State Legislature that demonstrates broad bipartisan support for providing relocation assistance and special medical treatment to the Minden residents.

 

Last November, I submitted my comments in support of the EPA’s proposal to add the Shaffer site to the NPL. The damaged and unused equipment stored by the Shaffer Company at the Minden site contained harmful polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a known carcinogen that was banned in 1979 from the United States. This contamination has had lasting effects on the Minden community that can only be properly addressed once the Shaffer site is added to the NPL. With this designation, the residents of Minden, West Virginia can finally begin to find some relief. Health reports clearly show that Minden residents have a significantly higher rate of cancer than that of other Fayette County residents. They need our help.

 

During the 2019 legislative session, the West Virginia State Legislature passed Senate Resolution 76 through both the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support (attached). This resolution urged the “EPA, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and Centers for Disease Control to assist Minden residents with both relocation assistance and specialized medical treatment as a result of their long-term exposure to polychlorinated biphenyl, dioxins, and dibenzofurans” and explicitly mentioned the importance of an NPL designation to that effort.

 

The West Virginia State Legislature joins all levels of state government in supporting those adversely affected by the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area in Minden, West Virginia. I appreciate your consideration of the Shaffer site on the 2019 update to the NPL, and I look forward to continuing our work together on this critical project.

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