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Last month, a chemical spill in West Virginia left more than half a million residents unable to use their tap water for drinking, cooking, bathing or cleaning. The incident also forced schools, bars and restaurants to close.
Earl Ray Tomblin, the state’s governor, declared a state of emergency in nine counties following the industrial leak.
FEMA has been providing bottled water and other assistance since the disaster, but state and local agencies have spent millions of dollars to deal with the crisis. Tomblin asked FEMA for grant assistance to provide the state with federal funding to reimburse it and the counties in the water emergency area part of the costs of the response.
FEMA has denied that request.
FEMA Says NO to West Virginia’s Grant Request for Water Emergency Aid
The bottled water was described as “musty” with a “strong odor” and “a problem with the taste,” according to a news release from the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. The water issues were related to storage, not the coal-cleaning chemical Crude MCHM, which tainted the region’s drinking water.