Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today appealed the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to deny West Virginia's request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures in response to the January 9 Elk River chemical spill.
"No one could foresee the far reaching impact the Elk River chemical spill would have on the 300,000 West Virginians in the affected nine-county area. It was an unprecedented disaster-and I believe it is of such severity and magnitude to warrant further public assistance," said Tomblin Tuesday in a news release.
"The financial impact has been significant and certain aspects will continue to demand public assistance including ongoing testing, which will help provide much needed information to the scientific and public health communities. I strongly urge FEMA to reconsider its denial for federal assistance and emergency protective measures in West Virginia."
Gov. Tomblin requested FEMA modify the current federal Emergency Declaration on January 27, 2014. FEMA denied the governor's request on February 10, 2014.
As the current Emergency Declaration stands, public agencies that have made expenditures to distribute supplies and meet the needs of those in the affected areas are presently denied access to Category B Emergency Protective Measures funding. A modification to the current declaration would allow eligible applicants in the affected counties to receive FEMA support, including reimbursement.