In recent days, state officials have tried to focus attention on the federal agencies, though clear information from various state agencies has also been difficult for the media and the public to obtain.
Details of the visit have yet to be fully disclosed, but the CDC indicated that in addition to meeting with state officials there has been discussion of some sort of public or media event.
Amy Goodwin, communications director for Tomblin, said the federal agencies would join state officials to "provide an update -- in detail -- on what we have accomplished, where we stand now, and what actions we are taking as we move forward." Goodwin said that update would take place during an afternoon news conference.
Also unclear, though, is whether the new EPA/CDC visit will push state officials to do what they've so far been unwilling to do: begin testing of at least some sort of sample of home plumbing systems to determine if MCHM remains inside pipes and water tanks.
During a U.S. Senate committee hearing Tuesday, Natural Resources Defense Council senior official Erik Olson noted that testing so far has been done only at the water treatment plant, some public locations such as schools and at fire hydrants.
Olson noted that University of South Alabama researcher Andrew Whelton has encouraged state officials also to test inside homes.
"Even if homeowners have now flushed the water in their homes as recommended, some worry that the chemicals may have penetrated into their plastic water piping during the days that the water was stagnant, and that chemicals may continue to be released into the water for some time," Olson told lawmakers.
Olson noted that Whelton's team recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to work on the issue, but that the grant provides "insufficient resources to conduct an extensive testing regime that would be representative of the 300,000 customers affected."
Reach Ken Ward Jr. at kw...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1702.