West Virginia Delegation Requests Further Help From FEMA After Chemical Spill
Delegation seeks to financially assist those businesses and organizations affected by the Elk River chemical spill
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, along with Representatives Nick Rahall, Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley, sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to request further financial assistance for those businesses and organizations affected by the Elk River chemical spill. The West Virginia Delegation wrote the letter in support of Governor Tomblin’s initiatives to seek assistance for eligible state and local governments and non-profit agencies in the nine affected counties that incurred extraordinary costs to respond to this emergency and help those in need.
In addition, the Delegation sent a similar letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) asking to provide assistance for our small businesses and eligible private, non-profit organizations.
Below is the full text of the West Virginia Delegation’s letter to FEMA Region III Regional Administrator, MaryAnn Tierney.
Dear Ms. Tierney:
As members of West Virginia’s Congressional Delegation, we join together to write to you regarding the citizens, businesses and entities that are suffering as a result of a devastating chemical leak which forced West Virginia American Water Company to curtail service to more than 100,000 customers in an area encompassing portions of nine counties, affecting about 300,000 residents – approximately one-sixth of the state’s population.
At Governor Tomblin’s request, President Obama issued an immediate Emergency Declaration (FEMA-EM-3366-WV) that utilized Emergency Protective Measures to assist the state in providing for the safety and welfare of the affected citizens, but that help was limited to Direct Federal Assistance.
Governor Tomblin wrote to you yesterday, January 27, 2014, requesting that the Emergency Declaration be modified to provide Category B Emergency Protective Measures, including direct funding assistance, to eligible state and local governments and non-profit agencies in the nine counties that provided extraordinary expenditures to respond to this emergency and help those in need.
Unfortunately, there seems to be little hope that these costs can be recouped by the party found responsible for this event, because that company has filed for bankruptcy and there are several pending suits against it. This tragedy has affected a large number of entities across the affected area – from individual citizens to small businesses to county school systems and agencies and non-profits responsible for emergency response.
We fully support Governor Tomblin in this request, and we respectfully ask that you review it and give it every appropriate consideration. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.
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