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Members of WV Congress Ask CDC for more studies after spill

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West Virginia lawmakers on Capital Hill sent a letter of their own to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging for more health studies on crude MCHM.

On Feb. 27, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., along with U.S. Representatives Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., sent the letter to the CDC to urge health officials to conduct further studies on the effects of the Jan. 9 chemical spill in the Elk River. 

The West Virginia Congressional Delegation wrote the letter in support of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's request for additional studies, population surveillance and monitoring. Tomblin sent a letter to the CDC along with Karen Bowling, cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, on Feb. 18. 

Both letters were sent to Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. 

The full letter from the lawmakers reads as follows: 

"Dear Dr. Frieden:

We write in full support of Governor Tomblin's request for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to immediately conduct further epidemiological and/or toxicological studies and address ongoing population surveillance or monitoring as a result of the January 9 chemical spill in the Elk River, which has affected the water supply of more than 300,000 residents in West Virginia.

This disaster has been ongoing for over a month now. There is palpable concern and frustration among our citizens, which we share. It is clear that additional testing is necessary to protect the health and safety of West Virginians, and to reassure the public.

We ask for your careful review of Governor Tomblin's request and that you provide us with regular updates on your efforts.  We hope that the CDC will continue to work with our State, as we strive for a positive resolution to this emergency.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter."