WV TAP publishes final report, Governor ignores major recommendation

Today the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project(WV TAP) released its final report.

WV TAP designed and conducted four scientific studies: (1) an in-depth analysis to
determine the odor threshold for crude MCHM; (2) an assessment of the breakdown products
that may have been created as a result of the oxidation of crude MCHM by chlorine and
potassium permanganate; (3) establishment of an independent panel of experts to evaluate the
screening level for MCHM; and (4) an initial assessment of the concentration and variability of MCHM at taps in homes and the perceptions of the owners of the homes that were sampled.

With regard to these questions, the TAP project found:

  1. The expert panel estimated that the OTC [odor threshold concentration] for crude MCHM is likely less than 0.15 ppb. The ability of the expert human nose to detect this compound is far greater than any analytical method available today.

  2. The second part of their study found no significant breakdown products as a result of potential interactions of MCHM with chlorine or potassium permanganate.
  3. The third of their study found, as we have previously noted, that a screening level of 120ppb would have been more appropriate than the CDC’s 1ppm standard (which is about an 8 times higher concentration of MCHM).
  4. The part of their study was addressed by the study of MCHM concentrations in the ten homes tested by the project

The final report recommended that the state government create a testing program for MCHM in homes to ensure that homes are below this 120 ppb threshold. Their recommended program would involve testing 30 homes in each of the 24 flushing zones established by the water company. They note that this would be effective for “demonstrating that either the concentrations are well below the levels of concern or that there are persistent concentrations that need to be further addressed.”

At the press conference releasing WV TAP’s final report, Governor Tomblin announced that the state has no immediate plans to fund any further in-home testing.

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