Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is urging Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio to provide resources to Minden, West Virginia. Senator Manchin urged Secretary Azar to conduct more research into the link between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and cancer, and Regional Administrator Servidio to visit Minden. To read his letter to Secretary Azar, click here. To read his letter to Regional Administrator Servidio, click here.
“Since 1984 Minden has been designated as a SuperFund site by the EPA because it was contaminated with PCBs by an industrial facility. While the EPA continues to take action to assist the residents of Minden, I am gravely concerned about the reports stating that cancer rates are significantly higher in Minden than the rest of Fayette County. However, the EPA and the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health have not been able to establish that PCB exposure from the Superfund site is responsible for these high cancer rates or for a cancer cluster in this small, rural Appalachia town despite the extraordinary circumstances. I have asked Secretary Azar to direct the National Toxicology Program and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to conduct additional research into the link between PCBs and cancer. It is important for us to fully understand the public health implications of the link between PCBs and cancer in order to develop a plan to protect those who have been exposed to these dangerous chemicals,” Senator Manchin said.
Minden, West Virginia, located in Fayette County, has been listed as a Superfund site by the EPA since 1984 because the small rural community was contaminated with PCBs by an industrial facility. The EPA has conducted several removal actions on the property since 1984 including the removal of more than 5,000 tons of contaminated soil. Reports state that cancer rates are significantly higher in Minden than the rest of Fayette County.