Charleston, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant released the following statement after the results were made public of a collaborative study on the impact of MCHM by the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR).
On January 9, approximately 10,000 gallons of MCHM leaked into the Elk River 1 ½ miles upstream of the intake for West Virginia American Water. The leak tainted the water supply of more than 300,000 people in nine counties.
“This report is just one of what I hope will be many studies done on the impact of MCHM on West Virginians,” Secretary Tennant said. “It has been more than four months since the chemical spill, and there are still people in the nine county area that are worried that what is coming out of their faucets will make them sick. That is why I was so vocal in my support of the medical monitoring provision in Senate Bill 373, a bill that will takes steps toward making sure something like this never happens again. We need to stay focused on finding out exactly what the long term impact of MCHM will be, and the only way to do that is the continuous monitoring of the health of the people – our friends, family, and coworkers – that were affected.”
In addition to medical monitoring, Secretary Tennant has been vocal about her support for the West Virginia Small Business Emergency Act, which provides for the development of relief funds for businesses impacted by disasters. She also called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release detailed methodology for water safety tests, and testified before a subcommittee of the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee regarding the impact of the chemical spill on small businesses.