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W.Va. Delegation Urges President, FEMA to Support Governor Tomblin’s Appeal

Cecelia Mason
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, along with Representatives Nick Rahall, Shelley Moore Capito, and David McKinley, asked President Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate to reconsider a recent decision by FEMA and appealed this week by Governor Earl Ray Tombin, which denied West Virginia’s request for federal assistance and emergency protective measures following the January 9 chemical spill in the Elk River.

The delegation noted in their letter that the costs incurred in the immediate response to the disaster by state and local agencies were “enormous”, and that they “continue to rise”.

“We respectfully request that the Governor’s appeal be granted, so that state and local agencies that incurred unprecedented costs can apply for reimbursement of eligible costs under the Public Assistance program," the delegation wrote.

"This unimaginable disaster rises to a level of severity and magnitude that warrants further federal assistance. We ask for your direct involvement to ensure that FEMA is able to help our citizens fully recover from this event of national and international significance."

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