WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Federal Officials Speak out On Water Crisis

Reported: Feb. 5, 2014 2:19 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 5, 2014 10:46 PM EST
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Nearly a month into the water crisis and federal agencies spoke out for the first time on Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency joined Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in a news conference.

“Right now we're all focusing on MCHM,” Dr. Tanja Popovic, with the CDC, said.
“We're looking at its screening levels. We firmly believe that the levels allow for protection."

Officials from both agencies said they have been on scene since day one.

However, 30 days into the crisis and still no real updates. MCHM levels remain at what officials are calling "appropriate."

"It's either been non-detect, where instruments can necessarily pick it up or can't read an accurate level or magnitudes below that screening level," Shawn Garvin, with the CDC, said.

Many of the 300,000 West Virgina American Water customers affected by the Jan. 9 spill are still hesitant to drink the water.

CDC officials said they do not expect any long term effects from the water contamination, but for the time being, several people are still claiming the water is making them sick.

"It's very hard for me to say now that these symptoms are associated with MCHM, when the levels are nondetectable," Popovic said.

But regardless of illness and complaints of still smelling the licorice odor, CDC and other federal officials stand firmly by their statement that the tap water from West Virginians’ sinks is appropriate.

And with many claims of people getting sick from the water, CDC officials said they will continue surveillance of symptoms reported, which could lead to possible studies on the health impact.

But there are no plans right now for a comprehensive medical monitoring program.

Tomblin said he has directed his team to evalutate home testing options.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Centers for Disease Control official said at a news conference in Charleston Wednesday that tap water in the affected areas of a chemical spill is safe to use based on available scientific evidence.

"The only scientific evidence we have, with what numerous people have worked on, you can use your water however you'd like," Dr. Tanja Popovic said. "You can bathe in it, you can drink it. You can use it however you'd like."

Popovic was among a group of officials who attended a news conference at the Capitol that included Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Environmental Protection officials and numerous state and county representatives.

Popovic explained how the CDC came up with the below the 1 parts per million level for MCHM, the chemical that leaked into the Elk River. She also said a group of experts will be studying the data of the reported health symptoms that have been reported in the wake of the chemical spill.

"At this point it looks like that long-term (health) effects are unlikely," Popovic said.

Meanwhile, Tomblin said he has asked West Virginia American Water to change the filters at its water treatment plant as soon as possible. He also said he has asked the water company to continue testing its water and for the state Bureau of Public Health to keep testing water at the plant and raw water.

An EPA official at the news conference said that the Freedom Industries site on Barlow Drive near Charleston where the spill has occurred has been stablized and that work will be under way to dismantle the site.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
West Virginia State University To Host Summer Research Symposium For Students
News
Jul. 31, 2014 9:33 AM EDT
West Virginia State University is set to host an annual ...
Full News Story

Police Need Help In Finding Missing Man
News
Jul. 31, 2014 9:24 AM EDT
Police need help in finding a Beckley man who has been ...
Full News Story

Man Pleads Guilty In Identity Theft Case
News
Jul. 31, 2014 9:15 AM EDT
A Charleston man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge ...
Full News Story


News Coal Supporters To March at EPA Hearing
Jul. 31, 2014 8:56 AM EDT
News Kroger Restricts Pseudoephedrine Sales In WV
Jul. 31, 2014 8:30 AM EDT
News Hyundai To Recall Thousands Of Sedans
Jul. 31, 2014 8:49 AM EDT
News State Fire Marshals Say Smoldering Cigarette Ignited Couch, Causing Fatal St. Albans Fire
Jul. 30, 2014 10:16 PM EDT
News Police Say Home Where Neglect Arrests Made Was In Deplorable Condition; Child Found Around Knives
Jul. 31, 2014 9:07 AM EDT
News Miners Gather In Pittsburgh To Fight For Their Jobs
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
News Subway Break-In Suspect Arrested
Jul. 30, 2014 11:52 PM EDT
News Reward In Braxton Animal Abuse Case Increases To $6,500
Jul. 30, 2014 11:31 PM EDT
News Blighted Homes An Issue All Over Charleston
Jul. 31, 2014 12:10 AM EDT
News Woman Accused Of Killing Mother Pleads Not Guilty
Jul. 30, 2014 11:08 PM EDT
News Hurricane Police Seek Suspect In Attempted Break-In
Jul. 31, 2014 9:07 AM EDT
News Detroit Suspect To Be Extradicted
Jul. 30, 2014 11:11 PM EDT
News Police Called To Middle School After Alleged Disturbance Involving Plants
Jul. 31, 2014 9:20 AM EDT
News Program Helps Children With Hearing Loss
Jul. 30, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News AARP Driving Safety Class Helps Seniors In Many Ways
Jul. 30, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Fla. Mom Arrested For Letting Son, 7, Go To Park Alone
Jul. 30, 2014 10:14 PM EDT
News Northbound Lanes Of East River Mountain Tunnel On I-77 To Remain Open
Jul. 30, 2014 10:12 PM EDT
News Another Tornado Confirmed In West Virgina
Jul. 30, 2014 10:08 PM EDT
News MU Star's Heisman Quest, Campaign For Cato, Launched
Jul. 31, 2014 9:23 AM EDT
News It's Never Too Late For Adults To Learn To Swim
Jul. 30, 2014 9:55 PM EDT
News Ex-Mingo Judge Reports To Florida Prison
Jul. 30, 2014 9:52 PM EDT
News Kenova Police Seek Help In Finding Theft Suspect
Jul. 30, 2014 9:50 PM EDT
News Friday Is Deadline For Jan. 9 Chemical Spill Claims
Jul. 30, 2014 9:47 PM EDT
News Hundreds Of Citations Handed Out In WV For Texting, Cell Phone Use While Driving
Jul. 31, 2014 12:10 AM EDT
News Police Say Teen Robbed In Downtown Charleston
Jul. 30, 2014 9:39 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against WVU RB
Jul. 30, 2014 9:33 PM EDT
News Elderly Woman Fights Off Intruders
Jul. 30, 2014 9:27 PM EDT
News Saints Coach Says Facilities Are "Pretty Amazing"
Jul. 25, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News PETA Oposes Using Animals In WV Testing
Jul. 25, 2014 10:10 AM EDT
News Man Accused Of Stealing ATV, Crashing After Pursuit
Jul. 25, 2014 10:09 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in W.Va.

Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Homebuilt plane crashes in Wisconsin; 2 injured

Oshkosh authorities say a small plane crash has left two people injured.
Full Story

Ohio News
Co-defendant testifies how Ohio teen was beaten

An Ohio man who has already pleaded guilty to killing a 16-year-old boy last year testified that he and his co-defendant repeatedly beat the teen when he wouldn't give up his stash of money and drugs.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.