West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant this week issued the following statement regarding the signing of Senate Bill 373, which ensures the long term medical monitoring of citizens after the spill of the chemical MCHM into the Elk River.
The spill occurred Jan. 9, tainting the water supply for approximately 300,000 people in nine counties.
“I applaud legislators for including medical monitoring and I am happy so see Governor Tomblin sign this bill that makes sure we will know what the long term effect of MCHM will be on our citizens,” Secretary Tennant said. “From the very beginning of this chemical crisis, I have pushed for more transparency from agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so the people of West Virginia can have the answers they deserve. It may take months or years for the long term effects of MCHM to begin revealing themselves, and that is why this medical monitoring is so important. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to follow up on this testing and make sure families are getting the care and attention they deserve.”
Just before the 2014 legislative session ended, Secretary Tennant sent a letter to leadership urging them to include medical monitoring in SB373. She first proposed medical monitoring during testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in February.
More than 1,300 people signed Secretary Tennant’s online petition urging more transparency from the CDC regarding testing results on the water supply and the long term health impact of MCHM.