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Governor Continues Looking For Answers To Water Problems

Reported: Jan. 31, 2014 7:42 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 31, 2014 8:17 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - 22 days after 10,000 gallons of crude MCHM spilled into the Elk River, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin asked West Virginia American Water to supply more bottled and bulk water to help ease the minds of people still not comfortable with using their taps.

However, Tomblin said it's financially impossible for water giveaways to continue indefinitely.

"The state, our liability for bottled water, our share, is nearing a million dollars already," Tomblin said. "Obviously there's not an unlimited supply of money for water. We would certainly hope that it would start to wind down but we will as long as possible continue to get water out to people who do not have the confidence in their water system."

Tomblin acknowledges that once trust in a system is lost, it can be a long and difficult process to gain it back. However, he said there are procedures in place to continue testing the water to make sure its safe.

"We have got to rely on scientists," Tomblin said. "People who, this is their job to determine whether a product, for example, how do you know that a gallon of milk that you buy is a hundred percent safe? Or if a box of cereal or whatever it may be? We've got to rely on those people who regulate those industries, just as we've got to rely on the water company to supply safe drinking water. "

Not everyone agrees with the governor. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich said during our Town Hall that the science is sketchy where MCHM is concerned

"In the short term, it's obvious," Brockovich said. "Don't let anyone around you convince you that you don't see and you aren't experiencing what you're experiencing. And in the short term, we're seeing a health effect."

Tomblin said he is concentrating on both the immediate recovery efforts and on how regulations and enforcement could possibly prevent another water crisis from happening in the future.



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