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Congressional Hearing Today on Charleston Chemical Spill; Freedom, CDC Reps not Testifying
“Residents of the Kanawha Valley deserve answers, and this hearing will allow Congress to question key witnesses, learn how this spill occurred, get answers to critical questions, and examine what we can do to safeguard our water supply,” Capito said in the news release.
Rahall ranking member of the committee has stated it is important to hold the hearing in Charleston.
“The water has been turned back on, but West Virginians still have health concerns and questions about how this spill happened and what can be done to prevent it from ever occurring again,” said Rahall. “At the field hearing that my Committee will be holding, we will be endeavoring to get to the bottom of what happened. We will aim to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable, and we will look at what legal standards may need to be addressed.”
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) stated, "I look forward to joining Ranking Member Rahall and other Members of the Committee in Charleston to examine the circumstances surrounding the Elk River chemical spill and response,” said . “This hearing will be critical to helping us understand why this incident happened and how we can better prevent something like this from happening again.”
The January 9th spill impacted more than 300,000 residents of the Kanawha Valley, triggering a state of emergency that lasted for nearly two weeks, and caused runs on water supplies, as well as the closure of schools, restaurants, and stores.
“Other hearings into the spill have been announced to be held in Washington, DC," Rahall said. " But I felt it was important to bring our Committee to those most directly affected by this fiasco as a key first step in formulating an effective and thorough response. I greatly appreciate the willingness of Chairman Bill Shuster to bring our Committee to West Virginia as part of that effort. We need to understand the facts and we need to get this right.”
Representatives of Freedom Industries whose tank spilled and the Center for Disease Control will not be present for testimony.