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Tomblin Says Water Testing To Follow Parts Per Billion Guidelines; Legislation To Prevent Disasters In Works

Reported: Jan. 17, 2014 5:36 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 17, 2014 5:45 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said plant output at West Virginia American Water in the wake of the water crisis will follow recent Centers for Disease Control guidelines and continue to be tested at parts per billion.

Meanwhile, the governor said legislation is in the works to prevent this type of crisis from happening again is in the works.

“As the system is fully restored, we will test at the parts per billion level to confirm non-detectable levels in the water distribution system,” Tomblin said in a news release. “My team’s No. 1 goal is the health and safety of those impacted by this crisis. My family is in the affected area. Many of the team’s families and neighbors are in the affected areas. This crisis hits home. The efforts we are taking are for all of our families.”

Tomblin mentioned that West Virginia American recently lifted the do-not-use order for the last area, allowing families and businesses to begin the flushing process. He said agencies are responding to concerns in the Buffalo area of Putnam County and will continue to monitor that specific situation. He said testing teams will remain on the job to make sure the water company’s system complies with CDC guidelines.

The governor said 15 million bottles of water had been distributed in the relief effort so far, and bottled water distribution at various locations in the affected areas will continue. He advised people to refrain from taking free water from emergency centers if they already are stocked up.

Tomblin said he has directed his legal team to work with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to draft legislation to prevent this type of crisis from happening again. He said he would have a bill introduced next week. The governor said the legislation empowers the DEP to implement an above ground storage tank regulatory program.



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