Manchin calls chemical spill a 'wake-up call'

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says the major chemical spill that left water in his state contaminated for days is a “wake-up call."

A ban on tap water was lifted Monday after a chemical spilled into the Elk River, near Charleston, W.Va. For five days, approximately 300,000 people were directed not to use the water for anything but flushing toilets. 

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“It’s just a horrific situation. It should never happen,” Manchin said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “It tells you we have an awful lot of chemicals in this country that have been stored and have never been inspected. It’s a wake-up call for all of us.”

Manchin said officials told him the chemical was neither toxic nor lethal. He said everything should be running smoothly by Wednesday, and water will be safe to use.

“The system is back up, the levels are safe levels now. By tomorrow, everything should be back up and running. It’s been a horrific situation … it really has been.

Over the weekend, Manchin’s West Virginia colleague, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D), announced that a chemical safety board responded to his request for a formal investigation to be launched into the spill.