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MU study: Spill has $61 million negative impact for affected areas

Feb. 04, 2014 @ 11:00 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River is estimated to have had a $61 million negative impact on the counties affected by the water ban over the four days immediately following the spill, according to a preliminary investigation by the Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).

The data released Tuesday indicates the impact on economic output was just more than $19 million for reach business day the water use ban was in effect, amounting to about 24 percent of the economic activity in the affected areas.

The estimate includes affected output at businesses where clean water is an essential component of services or of vital input to production, such as schools, medical offices, restaurants, hotels and some retail facilities. Industries such as mining or construction, in which operations were not directly affected by the water ban, were presumed to be unaffected.

Nearly 75,000 workers are estimated to have been affected each business day the ban was fully in place, representing about 41 percent of area workers. More detailed analysis is required for an estimated of wages lost during this time.

The $61 million estimation does not include any cleanup or emergency expenditure costs associated with the spill.

For more information, visit www.marshall.edu/cber.

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