WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today participated in a hearing entitled, “PFAS: the View from Affected Citizens and States.” Witnesses included West Virginian Scott Mandirola, who is the Deputy Secretary for External Affairs for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).


COST OF CLEANUP ON COMMUNITIES: “As we move forward on this, I’m sure there’s a lot of trepidation on the community water systems as to what is this going to mean when you know that the cost of [cleaning up the water system of] Martinsburg was $4 million…In working with local community water systems, how are they looking at this as an effect in the potential communities? I mean I grew up in Glen Dale. I grew up drinking this water. What are you seeing in the community as far as what effect—are they frustrated they can’t get a drinking water standard that they can really meet the technology to?” 

HELPING SMALL WATER SYSTEMS: “The cost of fixing this [PFAS contamination] is very expensive. How do you envision our small water systems? What’s going to be the best way for them to face this challenge? Is it repeated testing? Is it a national program for repeated testing? Is it a DoD (Department of Defense) response that need to be amped up more vibrantly? How do you see us being able to help? I mean we’ve got a lot of small water systems in our state so we understand the challenge.”  

WATER SYSTEM WORKFORCE: “We hear this all over our small water systems that—while we’re both a little sensitive talking about an aging workforce—we know it’s happened everywhere, particularly in this situation. I don’t think younger people see this as a career path, managing water systems and being a part of that scientific community…So we’re working on that.”

WEST VIRGINIA AS A MODEL: “I know what we’re doing in West Virginia, and I really applaud you and your efforts at the DEP and the legislature for stepping up to this…How many other states are being as aggressive as West Virginia in this? Couldn’t we serve as a shining star here to show the rest of the country how you can proceed and get good results without completely upsetting the apple cart here?” 



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