Group Recommends Testing 720 Homes Affected By Chemical Spill

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An independent research group suggests sampling water in 720 West Virginia homes for a chemical that spilled into the water supply in January.

The WV TAP group sampled 10 homes in February for crude MCHM using state taxpayer dollars. Each contained chemical traces, but the concentrations were about 675 times weaker than what federal officials call safe to drink.

The researchers say sampling 720 homes would provide a good idea of whether affected households are chemical-free. The spill contaminated water for 300,000 people for days.

It's unclear how much additional testing would cost. The group used $765,000 from the state to test 10 homes, along with conducting other related studies.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin spokesman Chris Stadelman says the administration is awaiting WV TAP's final report before determining next steps.