Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican who is running for Senate, spoke Wednesday about some of the struggles her family has faced in the wake of last week's massive chemical spill, which left 300,000 West Virginians without access to clean tap water.
“It’s a little amusing now, at the time it was not. We had a pipe burst in our home on Friday, with all the contaminated water pouring into our lower level of our house. So I’m really, we’ve been deeper into this than some other folks,” Capito told West Virginia's Metronews.
Capito is the presumed GOP nominee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who is retiring. West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) is running for the Democratic nomination.
The chemical spill has wreaked havoc upon the state's residents. A dialysis patient had his kidney transplant delayed because of a lack of clean water, and West Virginia's National Guard has been working around the clock to provide water for those who need it. Families with infants have had an especially hard time keeping everything in their homes sanitized.
Some 52,000 West Virginians have been cleared to use their water as of Wednesday, according to Reuters.
On Tuesday, Capito called for a congressional hearing to discuss the spill. However, she would not back down from her calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken environmental regulations.
"The incident that happened with this spill is not related to my view of the EPA, of overreaching and not looking at economics and trying to reach a balance in the energy industries," Capito said, according to the Charleston Gazette. "I see this as a chemical issue, and so the coal issue is secondary. It's a product used in the coal industry."
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation that would require inspections for chemical storage tanks located along waterways.