Issue Date: February 3, 2014
Congress Sets Hearings To Look Into Charleston Leak
This week and next, the House of Representatives and the Senate will hold hearings to examine the cause and effect of the Jan. 9 chemical leak into the drinking water supply system in Charleston, W.Va. The leak, consisting primarily of crude 4-methyl-1-cyclohexanemethanol from a bulk storage facility, ran into the Elk River and contaminated the water supply of 300,000 residents. On Feb. 4, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will consider the leak, and on Feb. 10, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing in Charleston to examine the spill. Also last week, Sens. Joseph Manchin III (D-W.Va.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to give states greater authority to oversee chemical facilities and to toughen standards for aboveground chemical storage tanks. Meanwhile, on Jan. 24, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ordered the tank owner, Freedom Industries, to begin removing all material from the 17 tanks and to dismantle the tanks and adjacent piping.
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