West Virginia Sewer Project Paused Until EPA Releases Contamination Report

MINDEN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has paused the construction of a sewer line in the Minden area until a contamination report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is released.

A statement said Justice made the decision after a meeting Monday between representatives of his administration and concerned citizens in Minden, area news outlets reported.

According to The Register-Herald, the sewer pipe route cuts through soil EPA testing shows has some PCB contamination. It said Minden residents have repeatedly asked Oak Hill City Council members to delay the project until after the final EPA report, which is expected to be released later this month or in early March.

PCB is an industrial chemical the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists as a probable human carcinogen.

The project is part of a $23.5 million sewer upgrade by Oak Hill to stop the flow of fecal contamination from Oak Hill and Minden sewer plants into Arbuckle Creek. The line runs from the old Arbuckle Public Service District sewer plant in Minden to the Oak Hill sewer plant.

Oak Hill Manager Bill Hanabass said crews have not worked in areas with PCB contaminants.

Annetta Coffman, a Minden resident and member of the environmental rights group Headwaters Defense, which opposes the project, said she is pleased with Justice’s decision.

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