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FEMA Denies Tomblin's Appeal For Spill Disaster Declaration

Reported: May. 21, 2014 10:47 AM EDT
Updated: May. 21, 2014 7:35 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Federal officials have denied Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's appeal seeking a major disaster declaration for a January chemical spill that contaminated the water supply in nine counties.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate said in a letter to Tomblin that a review affirmed the agency's earlier decision to deny Tomblin's request for a declaration. The letter says the event doesn't meet the legal definition of a major disaster.

Tomblin's office released Fugate's letter on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration Jan. 10 for the nine-county area, allowing FEMA to coordinate disaster-relief efforts.

In April, FEMA approved Tomblin's request to allow first responders, public agencies in the affected counties, and certain nonprofit groups to apply for grants to recoup costs incurred after the spill.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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