CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) wants some answers and she says she intends to get some during a U.S. House field hearing set for Monday in Charleston into the chemical leak that contaminated water for 100,000 customers of West Virginia American Water Company.

Capito and several members of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold the hearing at the Kanawha County Courthouse. It gets underway at 9 a.m.

The congresswoman said she’s not happy with how the entire situation has been handled

“There’s no certainty. We don’t know exactly what happened. We don’t know what the water company’s reaction was clear enough,” stressed Capito. “And I don’t think we know exactly, from the CDC standpoint, whether our water is 100 percent okay or is it 80 percent or for a certain population and how do you make those calculations?”

Representatives of West Virginia American Water will be on hand for the hearing as will those with the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Chemical Safety Board and local first responders. Capito said officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Freedom Industries declined an invitation to speak at the hearing.

“Boy, I’d love to have [Freedom] on the hot seat to ask them a lot of questions,” said Capito.

No one has heard anything from Freedom since the company held a brief news conference outside their gates the day after the spill was reported.

Capito said there’s not enough information out there as to what actually happened and, when people ask questions, they’re getting the run around. Capito stressed it’s happened to her as well.

She and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) sent a letter to the CDC weeks ago. They wanted to know why the CDC gave the all clear to drink the water and then, two days later, cautioned pregnant women to continue drinking bottled water. Capito said they still haven’t gotten a response.

The congresswoman knows she’s not going to get all the answers during one hearing, but she hopes to get some key information.

“Right now the main question is, is the water safe, is it safe to drink and why are we still having these pockets of odors and how long can we expect it, how long until we get rid of it? Those are the kinds of questions I think people want answered today,” she said.

The hearing is open to the public and will be held in the ceremonial courtroom at the Kanawha County Courthouse.

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  • peleliu

    This is called "grandstanding" a month later.

    • Jason412

      +1 grandstanding at it's finest

      I thought Freedom had been "cooperating with the DEP during the investigation"

      It's pretty conspicuous that no one in the WV media has reported the felon founder of Freedom was an accountant for Danny Jones. God forbid a journalist offend one of the politicians.

  • richard

    If she did try to get some answers, that would be the first thing she ever did.

  • Jeremy

    She ain't goin to do nothing.

    • richard

      That's all she has ever done - NOTHING

  • Me

    officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Freedom Industries declined an invitation to speak at the hearing.

    No one has heard anything from Freedom since the company held a brief news conference outside their gates the day after the spill was reported.

    I find these two paragraphs very disturbing to say the least

  • Don

    Blog on MCHM.


  • Stan the Man

    Rockefeller is still our senator. He still gets a paycheck but does and says nothing. Of course that is all he has ever done, say and do nothing.

    • richard

      And you think Capito has ever done anything about anything? What was the last productive thing you ever heard of her doing, other than suck up to Bush every chance she got?

      • JimJim

        She voted to shut down the government. She voted to reduce food stamps in the farm bill. She votes with the tea party to hurt West Virginians. Yes, I would say she's done some things. Wrong!

        • richard

          I stand corrected. You are exactly right.

          • Silas Lynch

            Jimmy and Ricky,

            Let me guess, you two intellectual giants of the political sphere voted to put the likes of me in the White house.


    A prominent West Virginia politician is urging citizens to not drink the water despite officials saying it is ‘appropriate’ for use.

    Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) told a Charleston television station that state officials are in bed with the energy industry and that people should further question both the potability of their water and how those relationships affect authorities’ judgement.

    ‘Even if some expert group told me it was safe, I don’t think I’d believe it,’ Rockefeller told WCHS during a blistering interview railing against both the state and heavy industry.

  • WW Glasser

    Retire Shelly !

    Has she been asleep since January 9 ?

    Under a jug ?

  • WW Glasser

    Anyone know whether the WVAW Jeff McIntrye:

    is the one who went to Brock University ?
    ran the sewage treatment plant at Hamilton, Ontario ?
    has a work visa or became a U.S. Citizen ?

    makes more than twice what the Governor does ?

    If so, is his salary regulated by the PSC ?

  • j

    Shelley / kill the epa /Moore maybe if the company pays 1 mill to state everything will be ok

  • CharlestonCheese

    Shelley, since you quite obviously somehow haven't been paying attention I will answer your questions. CDC came up with the 1 part per million threshold based on the only single piece of research of that exists on MCHM. That research was performed on rodents by the manufacturer. Good stuff, huh? The reason that's all we have is that congress thought it was ok that 90% of the chemicals being manufactured, processed and transported in our communities without us knowing squat about them. Not only are you a member of that body, you are a member of the party within that body bows to corporations.

    So at times like this you and your ilk say "Boy I'd love to have Freedom on the hot seat to ask them a lot of questions." My question to you Shelley is this: what is so wrong with getting questions answered before we have our water supply contaminated by your corporate friends? Mitt Romney was right, corporations are people. People that should be held accountable before and after accidents. Presently, you and your ilk do neither. But don't worry about anything, you will keep winning elections because of something the Koch brothers understand all too well. We the 99% aren't all that clued in. If you say "God" and "flag" enough you will keep sailing through elections to do the bidding of the 1% as long as you want.

    • Silas Lymch

      Sounds like someone has an over abundance of cheese between their ears,,,, OR,,,,, Nat, is that you? Eh, probably just one of her staffers pretending to be concerned for "the little people"

  • Aaron

    We know what happened. A water main froze and burst, rupturing an above ground storage tank holding approximately 35,000 gallons of crude MCHM, a chemical used for ing other things, cleaning coal in processing plants.

    The storage tanks had secondary containment walls but a crack in the wall allowed 10,000 gallons of the chemical to leak into the Elk River, approximately 1.5 miles above WVAW's intake pipe for the water supply.

    The hearing is political posturing.


    For decades the Health Depts. etc. has always warned "if it smells bad don't ingest"

    The NOSE knows----smile

  • Jim

    Good luck. The truth won't be known until we start droping like flys.

  • C. F. T.

    Shelley, the purpose and intent of tomorrow's hearing is exactly what we the people of the 9 effected Counties need, go get me and DO stay at those responsible till we have the facts.

    • C. F. T.

      Spell check "go get em"