Lawmakers issue statements on spill - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Lawmakers issue statements on spill

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WASHINGTON (WVVA) - West Virginia's lawmakers have released the following comments on the chemical spill in Charleston:

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin:

"Today I have spoken with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the regional administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration and Governor Tomblin to ensure that West Virginians receive every possible resource from the federal government while we work to resolve this issue. They have informed me that the first water trucks are anticipated to arrive this afternoon and that they will monitor and work to resolve the issue immediately.
 
"West Virginia American Water estimates that thousands of miles of main line in their water distribution system have been affected, and it could take several days to return to normal. Until the situation is resolved, I urge all West Virginians to not drink, boil, wash, clean, bathe or give to pets your water. Please only use water for sanitation and fire protection. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and do everything we can to provide water and the resources necessary to help all those who are affected.
 
"I know hundreds of thousands of West Virginians are in need at this time, and I want you to know that I am doing everything in my power to help you get the resources and assistance you need as quickly as possible. Please remember to lend a helping hand to your neighbors at this challenging time. As always, you can call any of my office numbers for assistance."

To contact Senator Manchin's office, please call:
 
Charleston office: 304-342-5855 or 855-275-5737 (toll-free)
Morgantown office: 304-284-8663
Martinsburg office: 304-264-4626
Washington office: 202-224-3954
 
 
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller:
 
"I am deeply troubled by yesterday's chemical spill at the Freedom Industries plant in Charleston and concerned about the problems it is causing thousands of West Virginians across nine counties. First and foremost, the safety of our citizens is my priority, so I urge everyone in the contaminated areas to remain vigilant and follow directions from emergency personnel about the use of running water.

"Along with those at the highest levels of our federal and state government, I am closely monitoring the response. I urge all officials involved to do whatever it takes, and leave no resource on the table, so that this situation can be quickly resolved for the sake of our families our precious water supply.

"I commend Governor Tomblin for requesting a State of Emergency, West Virginia Division of Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato for coordinating the response and the White House for moving swiftly in granting the governor's request. Once all of the impacted counties and residents are able to return to a semblance of normalcy, I expect a full accounting of what happened -- and what can be done -- to make sure this type of disaster never happens again. And we must be prepared to do whatever is necessary to restore the Elk River and its tributaries.

"As West Virginians, we know how to come together during the most difficult times. We check in on elderly neighbors. We make sure our friends and family are safe. We embrace each other in the tough moments. And that is what we must do now."
 
For more information and resources for assistance—including a list of water distribution sites—visit Senator Rockefeller's website at rockefeller.senate.gov, or follow the Senator on Twitter and/or Facebook.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall:
 
"I have urged Federal and State emergency management officials to ensure that every possible resource is made available to meet the needs of our State and its citizens.  I have asked them to bear in mind the particular needs of our seniors, many of whom are isolated, and residents of our State's hospitals and nursing homes, as well as how our businesses are being affected," said Rahall, top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over FEMA.  "I will continue to closely monitor reports about the leak and response efforts and keep in contact with local officials and residents to help secure expeditious assistance as needed." 
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