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Legislation proposed in WV to regulate chemicals

Both bills aim to make locations and specifics of chemical storage sites publicly available.

Manchin also stressed the need for additional federal testing to see what harm chemicals pose to people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that scarce information was available about the chemical that spilled, crude MCHM, when officials established a safe level for people to start drinking the water again.

But a "toxic" atmosphere in Washington, D.C., has prevented environmentalists and the chemical industry from finding middle ground on additional regulation, Manchin said.

On Jan. 14, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner responded to a reporter's question about the spill, saying there are enough regulations already. He chided President Barack Obama, claiming his administration ought to be "actually doing their jobs."

"I am entirely confident that there are ample regulations already on the books to protect the health and safety of the American people," Boehner said.

Manchin said Boehner made the statement "very quickly after (the spill) had happened," before the speaker knew about the lack of regulation for above-ground storage tanks. Manchin said he's going to speak with Boehner about his bill.

"I think that John (Boehner) would be responsive once he sees what we are doing," Manchin said.

Freedom Industries has a bankruptcy court hearing scheduled Tuesday afternoon in Charleston. Its bankruptcy status temporarily shields the company from dozens of lawsuits, many by businesses that were shuttered for days under a water-use ban.

The company is requesting permission to take out up to $5 million in credit from WV Funding LLC. That company, which was founded Friday, links back to J. Clifford Forrest through a second corporation started Friday.

Forrest is in charge of a company named Rosebud Mining, based at the same Pittsburgh office where Freedom Industries' parent company, Chemstream Holdings LLC, is listed in corporate records.

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