- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A taxpayer-funded research team will immediately start testing 10 homes for the chemical that spilled into the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the project Tuesday. The initial study could start Wednesday and take three weeks.

Dr. Andrew Whelton and Jeffrey Rosen of Corona Environmental Consulting will lead the independent team.

Whelton says a larger study would follow involving homes “up in the thousands.”

Experts will also examine the baseline created before a water-use ban was lifted weeks ago. Researchers will study the odor threshold for the chemical in water.

After the Jan. 9 spill, officials have tested at a water treatment plant, schools and elsewhere across nine counties.

The initial project cost is $650,000. Tomblin is asking for potentially millions more in federal money.

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