Governor Tomblin invited representatives from the CDC and EPA to talk on the progress they've made since the beginning of the water crisis.
The federal representatives really wanted the people of West Virginia to know that they are present, that they are working to restore the water situation to normal, and that they believe the water is now safe to use.
The EPA is now in the process of investigating whether the chemicals involved in the spill are bonding to water pipes in homes. The CDC said that since there is no data on how these chemicals affect people, they have put the appropriate blanket of safety over residents by issuing the parts-per-billion requirement. The CDC does not think there will be any long term effects from the spill.
Residents of the area are still not using the water, even though it has been deemed safe. Governor Tomblin said his office will continue to monitor the water quality, but there are no plans to test home water systems. He also said that he is committed to assuring the health and safety of West Virginians. The representative from the CDC said now they need to focus on rebuilding trust.
Tanja Popovic, director for the National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, said, "What we need to do is we need to have a level of trust in which what we know is shared with you but you also have to know there are limits to what can be done."
The crisis in our state has caused a lot of stir across the country, especially among activists who think criminal charges need to be brought against the responsible companies.
Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, said, "You know, it is a trespass. If you are out on the street and you assault somebody, what happens? You get filed criminal charges and you go to jail. And I think it is time, I think it is way past time that we step up to the plate, hold people accountable, and those criminal charges absolutely should be looked at."
Brockovich also said we need to see better regulation and enforcement.