Responding to the Freedom Industries chemical spill
From the Gazette:
Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, will become West Virginia’s top health officer when he takes charge of the state Bureau for Public Health at the end of the year, the Department of Health and Human Resources announced Thursday.
Gupta will become commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health on Jan. 1. He will replace Dr. Letitia Tierney, who is resigning effective Dec. 31.
Dr. Gupta emerged as one of the few trusted public officials in the water crisis. He pushed for medical monitoring and provided the public with real data on public health impacts of the crisis. He has also advocated for a Hazardous Chemical Release Prevention Program, as recommended by the US Chemical Safety Board.
His new role will make Dr. Gupta less directly involved in the Kanawha Valley. But he will now be in charge of the agency that will be reviewing WV American Water’s source water protection plan (due July 1, 2016). And he will be in a position to work for stronger coordination between the regulatory agencies involved in ensuring safe drinking water, including the Bureau for Public Health and the Public Service Commission.