Chemical Spill
5:30 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

WV TAP Recommends More Research, Precautions After Research

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling, Gov. Tomblin and Corona Environmental Consulting President Jeff Rossen spoke to reporters about the WVTAP final reporter Thursday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An independent research team hired by Gov. Tomblin to further study the chemical that contaminated the water supply of 300,00 West Virginians in January released their final report Thursday.

The West Virginia Testing Assessment Project, or WVTAP, began studying MCHM in February and has released results along the way. Thursday’s report includes their previously released findings and recommendations for moving forward.

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Chemical Spill
10:32 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Researchers Recommend Testing of 720 Homes Affected by Elk River Spill

An independent research group suggests sampling water in 720 West Virginia homes for a chemical that spilled into the water supply in January.

Researchers from the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project, or WV TAP, say that number of homes would be "statistically defensible" in determining whether affected households are chemical-free.

The group sampled 10 homes in February for crude MCHM using state taxpayer dollars. Each contained chemical traces, but the concentrations were about 675 times weaker than what federal officials call safe to drink. The report says levels of the chemical have continued to decline since the spill.

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West Virginia Morning
9:19 am
Wed April 2, 2014

WV TAP Says The Water Is 'Safe', Reactions to Blankenship's UBB Film, Marshall Co. Mushrooms, & More

Taking into consideration dermal and inhalation exposures, as well as ingestion, WV TAP researchers offer a screening level for MCHM eight times as stringent as the CDC's--still yet, they say levels of the chemical in the water below the federal agency's screening level is "safe." Mine safety professors have joined Sen. Joe Manchin in saying they were misrepresented by Don Blankenship's film Upper Big Branch - Never Again. A Marshall County high school senior wins a scholarship by creating a business plan to sell mushrooms.

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Health Effects
8:55 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Panel Deems CDC Screening Level for MCHM 'Safe', Establishes Own 8 Times As Strict

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Independent researchers working together on the taxpayer-funded WV TAP project have already released an expert odor analysis for Crude MCHM, and have delivered the findings of their 10 home testing pilot project. However, the public has repeatedly called for an understanding of potential health effects from the January spill of Crude MCHM by Freedom Industries.

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6:59 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

Review Of West Virginia Water Finds More Work To Be Done



A group of independent researchers has found that the chemical crude MCHM is still present in some West Virginia homes. That's the coal-cleaning chemical that spilled into the Elk River back in January out of a storage tank operated by the company Freedom Industries. The spill contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. The research group was formed by West Virginia's governor after public pressure.

Dave Mistich of West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports on the research group's latest findings.

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Chemical Leak
3:15 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

WV TAP Says MCHM Lingers in 10 Homes Tested in Pilot Project

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Taxpayer-funded researchers say the 10 West Virginia homes they tested each contained traces of a chemical that spilled into their water supply in January.
In samples taken Feb. 11-18, chemical remnants were generally about 675 times less concentrated than the federal safe drinking level for the chemical in water. The independent WV TAP group discussed results Friday at West Virginia State University.

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Chemical Leak
10:01 am
Wed March 26, 2014

WV TAP, Virginia Tech Studies Differ on Spilled Chemical Odor Analysis

Credit Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

A Virginia Tech study says a chemical that spilled into 300,000 West Virginians' water supply in January stops smelling at a level 47 times stronger than other researchers found.
The group that discovered the lower chemical odor level questioned the Virginia Tech team's methods.
The Virginia Tech group said in a news release that it detected the chemical in the air with specialized instruments. It used a gas law to calculate the corresponding odor threshold in water.

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West Virginia Morning
10:11 am
Wed March 19, 2014

MCHM Odors Linger, High-Dollar Requests for School Building Authority, & Beckley's Temple Beth El

Independent researchers involved in testing, odor analysis, and health effects studies on Crude MCHM answered questions Tuesday about their work and what that means going forward. The School Building Authority faces tough choices in doling out money for new schools, as counties have requested over $100 million in funds although the authority has only $45 million to give. A report on Beckley's Temple Beth El begins a five-part radio series on the Jewish experience in West Virginia.

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Chemical Leak
10:49 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Experts Say Lingering Odor Means Crude MCHM Remains in Water System

Dr. Michael McGuire (left) is conducting odor analysis panels on Crude MCHM. Dr. Craig Adams compiled a literature review of toxicological studies available on the chemical.

Researchers involved in a taxpayer-funded, independent water testing project in response to the January 9 spill by Freedom Industries began releasing findings earlier this week. The project, known as WV TAP, is currently attempting to determine the odor threshold for the chemical in question—crude MCHM. They are also investigating the safety factors applied by the CDC in determining how much chemical can be in water and still be called safe to drink.

Dr. Michael McGuire is conducting odor analysis panels to determine at what levels Crude MCHM can be smelled in the water. Results released Monday from an expert panel conducted by McGuire put that number at 0.15 parts per billion (ppb).

Researchers took time Tuesday to answer questions about the first round of studies that have been released.

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Chemical Leak
2:15 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Expert Nose Has Ability to Detect MCHM 'Far Greater' Than Current Testing Methods

Researchers involved in the independent, taxpayer-funded testing project known as WV TAP say results from a single expert panel show that Crude MCHM can be detected by an expert human nose when analytical methods used in testing the water indicate non-detect levels.

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Around The Nation
6:21 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Months Later, West Virginians Remain Wary Of Water That Smells

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 6:35 pm



From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Melissa Block.

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Chemical Leak
2:38 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

WV TAP Researchers Say Initial Sample Collection Complete, Need Additional Funds

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The two scientists leading the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project, or WV TAP, following the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River near Charleston provided an update on the project Friday. The briefing was held in a Department of Health and Human Resources conference room in downtown Charleston.

Dr. Andrew Whelton and Jeffrey Rosen spoke to reporters and said they have completed gathering samples of 10 homes across the area affected. Samples from both hot and cold water were taken.

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