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
Graffiti Painted on Huntington Murder Victim's Residence
News
Apr. 24, 2014 5:41 PM EDT
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Dan Matics) -- An eerie and rather ...
Full News Story

Circus Arrives In Town
News
Apr. 24, 2014 5:40 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Terry Burhans) -- All the animals ...
Full News Story

3 Judges Deciding Mayor's Fate
News
Apr. 24, 2014 5:51 PM EDT
Charleston, W.Va (Bob Aaron)-A three-judge panel heard ...
Full News Story and Video


News Chemical Safety Board Examining Inside Of Freedom Industries Tank
Apr. 24, 2014 5:22 PM EDT
News Ashland School Ordered To Shelter in Place
Apr. 24, 2014 5:02 PM EDT
News Putnam County Man Facing Charges Following Police Pursuit On An ATV
Apr. 24, 2014 4:23 PM EDT
News Major Oil And Gas Firm To List Drilling Chemicals
Apr. 24, 2014 4:05 PM EDT
News Tomblin Sets Up STEM Council
Apr. 24, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
News Construction Worker Killed During Bridge Work In Lawrence County, Ohio
Apr. 24, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News New Marshall University Basketball Coach Dan D'Antoni Has Deep Ties To School
Apr. 24, 2014 4:00 PM EDT
News Charleston Swears In Six New Police Officers
Apr. 24, 2014 2:29 PM EDT
News New River Gorge National River Fire 90 Percent Contained
Apr. 24, 2014 1:41 PM EDT
News LimeLight Theatre Company Presents "The Three Musketeers"
Apr. 24, 2014 12:52 PM EDT
News Court Documents Say Police Chase, K-9 Unit Led Police To West Side Murder Suspects
Apr. 24, 2014 1:34 PM EDT
News Special Kanawha County Prosecutors Sworn In To Handle Cases
Apr. 24, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man To Spend Three Years In Prison For Burning Cats
Apr. 24, 2014 9:57 AM EDT
News Charleston Police Said Young Man Shot Wednesday Night On West Side Has Died
Apr. 24, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
News Judge Bars Plants And Office From Handling Certain Domestic Violence Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 6:51 PM EDT
News Mullens Girls Gather Donations For Charleston Orphanage
Apr. 23, 2014 11:18 PM EDT
News Potential Layoff Notices Worry Miners In Boone County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:44 PM EDT
News 85th Habitat Home Dedicated In Cabell County
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Police Say Bystander Wounded In Shooting On Charleston's West Side
Apr. 23, 2014 10:57 PM EDT
News Local Team Headed To National Cheerleading Competition
Apr. 23, 2014 10:33 PM EDT
News Logan County Woman Reported Missing
Apr. 23, 2014 11:28 PM EDT
News Teenage Girl Killed In Boone County Crash
Apr. 23, 2014 10:58 PM EDT
News Plaintiff In EPA Lawsuit Endorses Lane For Congress
Apr. 23, 2014 9:28 PM EDT
News WV Democrats Call on Jenkins To Condemn Ryan Budget
Apr. 23, 2014 8:50 PM EDT
News Search Called Off In Reported Plane Crash In Kanawha; Plane Lands Safely At Yeager
Apr. 24, 2014 5:00 PM EDT
News Police Say Three Arrested In Huntington Drug Bust
Apr. 23, 2014 10:34 PM EDT
News Kanawha Judge Bars Kanawha Prosecutor, His Office From Prosecuting Certain Cases
Apr. 23, 2014 3:07 PM EDT
News Winfield Getting Multimillion Dollar Sewer Plant
Apr. 24, 2014 5:05 PM EDT
News McDowell Families Displaced After Homes Deemed Unsafe
Apr. 23, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News Crews Say Progress Made Fighting New River Gorge Fire
Apr. 23, 2014 6:33 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. governor sets up STEM council

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is assembling a council of education and industry leaders to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics opportunities in West Virginia.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Severe storms loom across central US this weekend

A large section of the Midwest and South are at risk for strong tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding this weekend.
Full Story

Ohio News
Sales stopped on certain bags made by Ohio Mulch

Ohio's Agriculture Department has stopped sales of 1.5 cubic-foot bags of mulch produced before April 6 by a Columbus mulch company, after random testing found the bags weren't full.
Full Story

PREVIOUS NEWS: NOV | CURRENT







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.