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WV American Water President Says Company Trying To Regain Public's Confidence

Reported: Feb. 6, 2014 10:03 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 6, 2014 11:25 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown, Jeff Morris) -- Pressed by lawmakers about the safety of the water, West Virginia American Water Co.'s president said the water is safe, and the company is working hard to regain the confidence of its customers.

Water Company President Jeff McIntyre made a presentation before the House Health and Human Resources Committee at the Capitol Thursday in Charleston. He said that even after customers have flushed their plumbing systems, MCHM can still be smelled, but the water is acceptable for use.

McIntyre was asked how the water could be safe when so many people are still smelling the chemical in their water and were experiencing problems. He said there are a lot of misconceptions right now, and he said that some people have a stronger sense of smell when it comes to detecting odors.

When asked if the company needed assistance in changing its water filters, the water company president said West Virginia American is an expert at treating water and that it doesn't need help with the process, it just needs the right conditions to take place to do the task.

Meanwhile, McIntyre said a $10.29 credit for residential customers and a $20.58 credit for businesses will start appearing on bills on Friday.

And another money issue, many delegates wanted to know who is going to eat the cost of the water crisis. McIntyre said water company officials have reached out for federal disaster funds, however, nothing is available yet.

The committee meeting comes at a time when there are a huge amount of questions and issues surrounding the Jan. 9 chemical spill at Freedom Industries and a do-not-use water ban that affected nine counties. Even though those bans have been lifted, many people are afraid to use their water. The Centers for Disease Control has said the water is not necessarily safe but appropriate.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) – WCHSTV.com will provide live stream coverage on our website Thursday of several West Virginia American Water Co. officials' presentations to a legislative committee at the Capitol in Charleston.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday before the House Health and Human Resources Committee in the East Wing, Committee Room 215 E.

On the agenda for presentations are Jeff McIntyre, president and chief executive officer of the water company; Tom Curtis of American Water Works, Letitia Tierney, commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health; Ryan Palmer, commissioner of the state Public Service Commission; and Amy Swann, executive director of the West Virginia Rural Water Association.

In the wake of a chemical leak that led to a water crisis, lawmakers are considering regulations on above-ground storage tanks. The Senate has approved a measure, and it is now being considered in the House.



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