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Rockefeller Seeks Answers On Long-Term Health Effects Of Chemical Spill

Reported: Jan. 14, 2014 5:09 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Heath Harrison) – U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has contacted the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for Disease Control to request a study be done on the long-term health effects of the chemical spilled into the Elk River.

Rockefeller has asked for a comprehensive look into the public health risks associated with crude 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, which interrupted water service to 300,000 West Virginia customers.

“I am making this request of two separate agencies with the goal that no stone will go unturned, and no jurisdictional confusion will leave any key question unanswered,” Rockefeller said in a statement Tuesday. “In the coming weeks and months, the assistance of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be critical for the long-term well-being of the state of West Virginia and its citizens.”

In the aftermath of the spill, Rockefeller requested a U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation into the root cause of the incident. A team from the CSB arrived in Charleston on Monday.

Rockefeller has been working on a spending package to boost funding for the CSB, which he said is overworked and understaffed.



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