Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 4, 2014

W. Virginians: Spill warrants priority shift for government

CHARLESTON (AP) — Dozens of skeptical citizens urged state officials to produce meaningful regulatory and enforcement changes after West Virginia’s chemical spill.

More than 50 West Virginians testified about the water crisis in the House of Delegates chamber Monday. They urged lawmakers to broaden efforts to regulate aboveground storage facilities. On Jan. 9, a leaky tank at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people for days.

At the two-hour hearing, citizens pushed for monitoring to track the spill’s effects on people’s health.

The testimony underscored lingering public distrust, even after officials declared the water safe.

At a town hall last week, 1 percent of 288 people surveyed said they were drinking the water.

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