Suzanne Higgins Published

Governor to Appeal FEMA Denial


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Wednesday that he’s appealing a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny West Virginia’s request for emergency protective measures through the emergency declaration issued in response to the Kanawha Valley water crisis.

FEMA Deputy Associate Director Elizabeth Zimmerman told Tomblin in a letter Monday that based on the agency’s review, it was determined that the water crisis did not rise to the severity and magnitude to warrant grant assistance under the emergency declaration.

In a statement the Governor said he was disappointed and shared the anger and frustration of West Virginians who have endured the crisis. He went on to say he was committed to providing the details necessary to demonstrate the assistance needed by the public safety agencies that have provided support to citizens since the chemical spill into the Elk River January 9.

Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall are also quoted in the statement, promising they too will work toward a successful appeal.

The state has 30 days to file.