CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin appointed four members Thursday to the new commission created following the Jan. 9 chemical leak and water emergency that impacted nearly 300,000 state residents in parts of nine West Virginia counties.
According to the governor’s office Tomblin’s selections to the Public Water System Supply Study Commission include:
–Rick Roberts, P.E., who will serve as a professional engineer experienced in the design and construction of public water systems;
–Ed Watson, who will serve as a hydrologist experienced in determining the flow characteristics of rivers and streams;
–Dr. Mike McCawley, who will serve as an environmental toxicologist or other public health expert familiar with the impact of contaminants on the body; and
–Pam Nixon, who will serve as the citizen representative.
State Senate President Jeff Kessler has already appointed Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director Dr. Rahul Gupta to the panel while House Speaker Tim Miley chose Del. Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha.
The West Virginia Municipal League and West Virginia Rural Water Association also have appointments to make.
The 12-member commission will also include state DEP Secretary Randy Huffman, state Health Officer Dr. Letitia Tierney, state Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato and state PSC Chairman Mike Albert.
Part of the commission’s job will be to review water protection plans from public water systems, study alternative water sources and gauge the effectiveness of the new Above Ground Storage Act.
The commission is mandated to forward a report to the state legislature and governor every December.