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WV PSC to hold conference over WV American Water's response to January chemical spill

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As part of its ongoing investigation of West Virginia American Water's response to the January chemical spill, the West Virginia Public Service Commission will be holding a conference on Aug. 18 to resolve a dispute over what type of information will be part of the investigation.

“WV American Water has objected to, and refused to answer, many of the questions posed by Advocates for a Safe Water System, the WV Sustainable Business Council, and the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division, particularly questions that relate to the water company's emergency planning and preparedness,” according to the Aug. 15 news release. “The company has refused to provide any documents pertaining to emergency plans that it had in place as of Jan. 9.”

Monday's hearing will have major implications for the overall scope of the PSC's investigation by determining which questions other parties are allowed to ask the water company.

Advocates for a Safe Water System, a community organization formed in response to the Freedom Industries chemical spill, has argued that issues around the water company's emergency planning and preparedness are crucial for understanding the context in which decisions were made in response to the spill.

“Apparently it is the Company's position that whether or not the Company was completely unprepared on January 9, 2014 for what occurred on or before that date is of no concern to the West Virginia Public Service Commission,” the Advocates for a Safe Water System's motion to compel states. “It is the position of Advocates that this is a matter of central concern to the Commission and must be an important aspect of its General Investigation.”

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