WASHINGTON D.C. (WSAZ) -- A new spending bill passed by congress is granting more than $11 million to the Chemical Safety Board, which will allow it to better investigate the chemical leak in Charleston.
January 9, about 7,500 gallons of methycyclohexane methanol (MCHM) leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries -- spilling into the Elk River.
The leak kept about 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers from using tap water. Some were affected for more than a week.
Senator Jay Rockefeller says he requested the money for the CSB because he was worried about the over-worked and under-staffed agency's ability to work quickly in discovering the spill's cause.
"The Chemical Safety Board has been strained in recent years by slashed budgets, small staffs and the difficulty of responding to incidents across the country," Rockefeller said. "That's why I pushed my colleagues to boost the CSB's budget and give the agency the resources it needs to do its job. That's more important now more than ever, as people all across West Virginia are demanding answers in the wake of the ongoing water crisis."
Rockefeller says the CSB is now better equipped to investigate last week's leak as well as make key recommendations to prevent another water crisis from happening.