Chemical Spill Costs Surpass $3 Million for State
The Freedom Industries chemical spill has come at a heavy price for West Virginia, both financially and emotionally. For state officials, these costs now have a price tag - more than $3 million. According to officials from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, West Virginia has spent a total of $3.04 million as of February 12th in response to the chemical spill and subsequent water contamination. These costs do not include expenses associated with local emergency services or school boards.
The hefty price tag - which is expected to grow - is important for state officials and advocates who are seeking to overturn a recent federal decision to deny a reimbursement request. Officials have stated that they will attempt to recover as much money for West Virginia as possible and will continue coordinating relief efforts with FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Earlier this month, FEMA denied the state's request for the federal government to cover some of the costs associated with the spill.
While Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is appealing the denial, federal officials have stated that cleanup and response efforts were not beyond the scope of the state's resources and that ample federal aid has already been provided. A significant amount of state funds were used to supply local residents with safe water, with other funds being allocated to testing and water distribution.