Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today commenced the After Action Review of West Virginia's response to the January 9 Elk River chemical spill. The Review will highlight the many ways in which state agencies, county and local emergency management offices, volunteer and charity organizations, the West Virginia National Guard, and other entities responded to the nine-county State of Emergency. It will also address ways the state can improve its emergency response systems. The governor has asked Adjutant General James Hoyer, West Virginia National Guard; Jimmy Gianato, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; and Peter Markham, General Counsel for the Office of the Governor to coordinate and supervise the Review.
"The Elk River chemical spill was an unprecedented disaster that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians, and has launched a national dialogue about the safety of our nation's water supply," Gov. Tomblin said. "As this dialogue continues, West Virginia's emergency response will act as a blueprint for other states across the country. The thoroughness of the Review depends in large measure on citizen participation. It is critical we receive an honest assessment of the emergency response including what we did well, opportunities for improvement, and concrete solutions for improving future response efforts."