Associated Press Published

Tomblin Unsure How to Pay for Health Monitoring After Spill


Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he’s not sure about tapping state reserves to monitor people’s long-term health after chemicals spilled into their water supply last month.
Senate Majority Leader John Unger has said Tomblin should use $10 million from the state’s rainy day fund for 10 years of health monitoring. Unger said lawmakers could approve the money, but it’d be easier with Tomblin’s support.
Tomblin told reporters Tuesday he would make that decision “down the road.”
He is awaiting in-home testing results and research on the chemical’s odor threshold and what levels are safe to consume in drinking water. The Jan. 9 spill contaminated 300,000 people’s water for days.
West Virginia’s $915 million last-resort fund is one of the nation’s strongest. Tomblin’s proposed budget uses $83.8 million from the fund.