CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Schools impacted by the recent chemical leak into the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia are meeting the latest water safety threshold set by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Water testing results from 96 schools have returned with non-detect readings at the 2 parts per billion (2ppb) screening level. However, one school tested right at the 2ppb standard.
The Rapid Response Team is working with H.E. White Elementary School in Clay County to re-flush and retest the water following a slight MCHM detection. Results at H.E. White Elementary came in just at the 2ppb screening level. Following today’s results, the National Guard is working with the Queen Shoals Public Service District in Clay County to flush hydrants around H.E. White Elementary. Once flushing is complete the school will re-flush and be resampled. Meanwhile, the school will continue to provide bottled water and hand sanitizer to students and cook with bottled water.
Last week, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called for additional water testing to confirm that all schools in the counties affected by the chemical leak on Jan. 9 are less than 2ppb.
Earlier in the month, the National Guard took samples from all schools for lab testing at a level of 10 ppb, which is 100 times more protective than Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) recommend level of 1 part per million. The new 2ppb testing standard is 500 times more protective than the CDC’s public safety guideline.
The West Virginia National Guard has revisited more than 100 schools in Kanawha, Boone, Clay, Cabell, Lincoln and Putnam counties. Results for the remaining schools are expected in the next couple of days. All results are being posted on the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website: http://www.dhsem.wv.gov/Pages/WV-American-Water-Emergency.aspx
For more information contact Liza Cordeiro in the West Virginia Department of Education Communication Office at (304) 558-2699.