CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health voted Tuesday to join the City of Charleston in a legal action connected with the Jan. 9 chemical spill on the Elk River and resulting water emergency in parts of nine West Virginia counties.

The board said the health department spent about $200,000 responding to the crisis and it will be seeking reimbursement.

The lawsuit hasn’t been finalized including exactly who the city and health department will be suing but health board members said Tuesday Freedom Industries, the company that owned the property where the MCHM spill took place, and West Virginia American Water Company are the likely targets.

The board of health also announced Tuesday it was wrapping up a scientific survey in relation to the chemical spill. Health Department Director Dr. Rahul Gupta said 2,000 residents had been called since last Thursday. They had hoped that 300 residents would agree to take the survey, about 420 had by Tuesday afternoon.

Gupta said the survey is extensive. It’s 16 pages and 70 questions long. He predicted it would take about a month to analyze the results. The last calls would be placed Tuesday night.

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  • Shadow

    Sounds like a "make work" project for the lawyers. A circular process of money transfer with the lawyers skimming off the top. Who gains?

  • Voter

    Let's see, Freedom filed for bankruptcy, so they won't pay up, so that leaves WV American Water. They might pay if sued, but will surely pass along to the consumers.

    • THP

      The PSC won't approve rate increases that include the cost of legal damages.