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Use of reserve funds suggested for MCHM health testing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A top state senator wants West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to use $10 million in reserves for health monitoring after chemicals spilled into 300,000 people's water supply.

Senate Majority Leader John Unger wants the governor to tap into the state's Rainy Day Fund for the program. The last-resort fund of about $915 million is considered one of the nation's strongest.

The Berkeley County Democrat said county health officials, such as Dr. Rahul Gupta of Kanawha County, should help administer the monitoring. Gupta has said health tracking is needed after people had contact with the little-known chemical Crude MCHM.

Little toxicity information is available about the chemicals that leaked Jan. 9. They were not considered hazardous by federal standards.

A Tomblin spokeswoman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.


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