- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

BLACKSTONE, Va. (AP) - Sixteen members of the Virginia National Guard have returned home after assisting with water sampling operations in West Virginia following the Jan. 9 chemical spill.

Officials say the members from the Fort Pickett-based 34th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team had been in West Virginia since Jan. 18.

While in West Virginia, the team collected more than 900 water samples, conducted more than 50 delivery missions to get water samples to testing labs and helped evaluate the water in more than 90 area schools.

National Guard personnel from six different states helped in the testing effort following the spill.

Freedom Industries’ spill into the water supply spurred a water-use ban for 300,000 people in nine counties.

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