State Officials to Test Water in West Virginia Homes
West Virginians continue to have concerns about the water supply, especially amid conflicting statements from safety and health officials and several recent school closures. Updates about the severity of the spill have also raised questions as to whether the water is truly safe to cook with, bathe in and drink. In an effort to ease concerns of West Virginians about the effects of the Freedom Industries chemical spill, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has announced plans to create a large scale in-home testing project.
The project - known as the state Testing Assessment Project (WV TAP) - will be conducted by a team of experts using $650,000 in funds allocated by Governor Tomblin. In a press release this past Tuesday, Tomblin commented that testing performed by expert scientists will provide residents throughout the state with reassurance political officials have yet to provide. Experts from the University of South Alabama and Corona Environmental Consulting will be leading the TAP team.
Plans to implement TAP testing have already begun with pilot studies of 10 homes in the nine impacted counties, including two in Kanawha. Studies will consist of:
- In-home testing throughout the nine counties impacted by the spill and water contamination.
- Analyzing the odor threshold of MCHM - the coal processing chemical that leaked during the spill.
- Evaluating the "non-detect" threshold with a panel of experts.
TAP will also focus on answering questions about the effects leaked chemical have on a home's pipes and water heaters. Whereas testing has focused only on chemicals in the water system, TAP will be concentrating directly on how they impact residents and their homes, as well as whether the chemicals can stick to pipes.