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


Rockefeller Says It's "Dangerous To Simply Rely On Industry To Do The Right Thing"

Reported: Feb. 10, 2014 1:20 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 10, 2014 1:31 PM EST
News Image

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller released a statement Monday following a congressional field hearing conducted on the water crisis in Charleston, saying “we have learned the hard way that it is dangerous to simply rely on industry to do the right thing.”

“Industry has long resisted new regulations or stronger enforcement measures,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “It is short-sighted to think that last month’s spill is an isolated incident in West Virginia. And it is short-sighted to think that proper regulations would in any way stifle business — the contrary is true.

“Good businesses cannot thrive or even survive if they must shoulder the costs when bad actors get away with cutting corners. It’s time to acknowledge that industry is not looking out for you. Too many in industry are driven solely by maximized profits, and this cynical strategy has caused tremendous harm to West Virginians’ well-being and has shaken their sense of our state’s future.”

Rockefeller's comments follow the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing that was held at the Kanawha County Courthouse. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and U.S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall were among the panelists at the hearing.

Rockefeller said many unanswered questions remain following the Jan. 9 chemical spill.

“It has been a financially taxing and emotionally draining month for families and businesses who have struggled with concerns about the water’s safety, worries about long-term health effects of this chemical exposure, and the noxious odor that remains in their water," he said. "State and federal agencies are working to find answers, but deficiencies in our regulatory structure and the lack of adequate funding for federal agencies have made their jobs infinitely more difficult.

“We must ensure that no West Virginian is left doubting our future and our regulatory scheme at the state or federal level.”

The senator said he was encouraged to hear “so many passionate and articulate people who love West Virginia step up and demand that we protect our future. We know that we can no longer trade the public’s health and welfare for industry profits.”

Rockefeller said he hours following the spill, he asked the U.S. Chemical Safety Board to open an investigation into the root cause of the spill. He said has asked the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency to work on a joint study into the long-term health risks associated with this chemical spill.

Since there is a limited amount of information about the chemicals that poisoned the water, Rockefeller said, he contacted the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Centers for Disease Control asking that any studies, new findings or outside data be shared among the many federal and state agencies working to address this spill, as well as with the public.

Rockefeller said that he, U.S. Senator Manchin, D-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would require regular state inspections of chemical storage facilities and make sure the chemical industry is held accountable for developing an emergency response plan for their facilities when an incident like this occurs.

In addition, Rockefeller said he cosponsored two bills that would hold companies like Freedom Industries accountable when spills of non-hazardous substances occur, and provide state and federal governments with access to funding that can cover the costs associated with cleaning up a chemical spill.

“I have been deeply frustrated and disappointed with the halting and slow flow of information West Virginians need to make good decisions about the use of their tap water,” Rockefeller said. “As West Virginians make decisions about the water they use, they must have straightforward answers about possible contaminants in the water. Their confidence will only be restored when they are sure that everyone across the board — businesses, manufacturers and government officials — is being up front and doing everything possible to protect their health and safeguard their water.”



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Man Accused In Robbery Has Bond Terms Modified
News
Jul. 28, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
A man accused in a violent convenience store robbery ...
Full News Story

Ohio Woman Sentenced In WV Embezzlement
News
Jul. 28, 2014 4:09 PM EDT
An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six ...
Full News Story

Huntington Museum Hosts Arts And Bots Nature Camp
News
Jul. 28, 2014 3:39 PM EDT
The Huntington Museum of Art is hosting an Arts and ...
Full News Story


News Ohio Authorities Say Indictments Could Put Dent In Drug Trafficking Organization
Jul. 28, 2014 2:31 PM EDT
News Advocacy Organization Applauds Federal Court Ruling That Declares Va. Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Jul. 28, 2014 3:19 PM EDT
News WV Attorney General $950K Settlement With Three Companies
Jul. 28, 2014 2:20 PM EDT
News Businesses Extend Helping Hand To Employees At Two Restaurants Affected By Huntington Fire
Jul. 28, 2014 2:03 PM EDT
News Dirty Girl Mud Run Says Its Assets Have Been Acquired By Human Movement
Jul. 28, 2014 1:40 PM EDT
News Firefighters Say Morris Building Fire Believed To Be Accidental
Jul. 28, 2014 2:02 PM EDT
News West Virginia American Water To Conduct Public Tour
Jul. 28, 2014 11:58 AM EDT
News Tennant Spoofs White House's Power In New Ad
Jul. 28, 2014 11:10 AM EDT
News Putnam Deputies Locate, Arrest Escapee
Jul. 28, 2014 11:03 AM EDT
News Power Outages Reported In Some WV Areas; Possible Tornado In Ritchie County
Jul. 28, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News Rock Beats Paper: Study Says Fist Bumps Spread Fewer Bacteria Than Handshakes Or High-Fives
Jul. 28, 2014 10:40 AM EDT
News Human Trafficking Conference Set In Morgantown
Jul. 28, 2014 10:29 AM EDT
News WV Awarded With 23 Litter Control Grants
Jul. 28, 2014 9:37 AM EDT
News WV Man Arrested After Child Found In Hot Car
Jul. 28, 2014 9:27 AM EDT
News Two Men Die In Boone County Crash
Jul. 28, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Real Life Rapunzel Cuts Hair For Cancer
Jul. 28, 2014 8:54 AM EDT
News Dollar Tree Buying Peer Family Dollar Stores For About $8.5 Billion
Jul. 28, 2014 8:57 AM EDT
News Dozens Treated For Illness At Keith Urban Concert
Jul. 28, 2014 8:58 AM EDT
News Cable On Ohio Amusement Park Ride Snaps, Injuring Two
Jul. 28, 2014 11:40 AM EDT
News Fourth Avenue Reopens Following Huntington Fire; 9th Street Plaza To Remain Closed
Jul. 28, 2014 9:04 AM EDT
News Fundraiser To Aid Teen Recovering From Brain Cancer
Jul. 28, 2014 9:02 AM EDT
News Tornado Watch Issued For WV Counties Until 3 a.m.
Jul. 27, 2014 9:47 PM EDT
News U.S. House Candidates Secure Prominent Endorsements
Jul. 28, 2014 9:13 AM EDT
News One Dead, Two Injured In Pike County Shooting
Jul. 28, 2014 9:14 AM EDT
News Emergency Officials Offer Advice On What To Do In Case Of Tornado
Jul. 27, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News Clay Center Hosts Family Fun Day
Jul. 27, 2014 5:58 PM EDT
News On-Site School Review For Grading System To Debut
Jul. 27, 2014 4:58 PM EDT
News Art Project To Aid Huntington Children's Hospital
Jul. 27, 2014 4:57 PM EDT
News Both Directions Of I-77 Tunnel Near Bluefield Reopen After Fire
Jul. 27, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News Fans Welcome Saints To The Greenbrier
Jul. 26, 2014 11:36 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Ohio woman sentenced in W.Va. embezzlement

An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six months in federal prison for embezzling $150,000 from a government-subsidized apartment complex in West Virginia.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad

Oregon's largest coal-burning power plant is expected to shut down in a few years, but that doesn't mean coal is dead.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio woman sentenced in W.Va. embezzlement

An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six months in federal prison for embezzling $150,000 from a government-subsidized apartment complex in West Virginia.
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.