Rapid Response Team finds MCHM at school in Malden, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Rapid Response Team finds MCHM at school in Malden, WV

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Malden Elementary School Malden Elementary School

Crude MCHM was detected in another Kanawha County, WV school. State officials announced the discovery Tuesday.
The Rapid Response Team formed last week to follow up on water quality complaints found the problem at Malden Elementary. An employee had reported a smell in the dishwasher. The team did not detect MCHM there but checked the rest of the school just to be safe.

"They were very thorough. They could have just checked the dishwasher but they didn't. They sampled from the middle of the school out," said Malden Principal Julie Sayre.

The sample that tested positive came from a water fountain. One lab reported results of .013 ppm. Another lab reported .018 ppm. Sayre said that water fountain has not been used by students. They've also taken several precautions to keep students from coming in contact with the tap water. According to state officials the results more than meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's screening guidelines.

"The good thing is when we do the water samples and we get the tests back we know," said Kanawha County Schools Maintenance Director Terry Hollandsworth.

Monday five schools in the area requested a visit from the Rapid Response Team to follow up on smells or discolored water. Tuesday morning the team was back at Riverside High School because of discoloration in the water. According to Principal Valery Harper the tests found non-detectable levels of crude MCHM.

"We are not going to second guess ourselves. We are going to get action and make sure," Harper said. She after she requested a response team investigation it took them less than 30 minutes to arrive.  

When a school has a concern they email Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring and Hollandsworth. A text is then sent to team members who are dispatched immediately to the schools in question.

According to a West Virginia Department of Education spokesperson, the Rapid Response Team can consist of individuals from the West Virginia National Guard, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Quality, the Kanawha County Emergency Operations Center, the Kanawha Charleston Health Department and the local school system.

After a local assessment has been conducted by the school facilities personnel, the Rapid Response Team is called in to follow up.

The team was formed Thursday after several schools in the county reported licorice type smells in the days. Friday the team went to 14 Kanawha County Schools.

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