A Republican congressman said Monday that the federal Environmental Protection Agency should investigate a wildfire that devastated a rural town on the Appalachian Trail and forced evacuations in the state’s poorest region.
The fire killed at least two people, forced dozens of people to flee their homes and prompted an evacuation order in western West Virginia.
“We need to make sure that the EPA is doing its job properly, and we also need to know what happened to those people who were there,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters in Washington, D.C. “I think that is something that should be investigated.”
The West Virginia Republican also said that he is “not happy” with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for not taking any action against the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection after the wildfire.
McCarthy’s office has declined to comment.
The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It has also been reported that McCarthy has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants from the fossil fuel industry.
McCarthy was also the keynote speaker at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held at the West Virginian Resort and Convention Center in West Va.
At the time, the West Va GOP criticized McCarthy for failing to act to protect the region from wildfires.
The Republican congressman, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the EPA should investigate the West Viriginia wildfire because of the “significant risks posed to our communities” and “the devastation caused by this disaster.”
He said that “the EPA should also investigate the actions of EPA employees” who “should have been better prepared for the severity of this fire.”
West Virginia Gov.
Earl Ray Tomblin has also criticized McCarthy, saying she failed to act as a leader after the fire.
“When she left, she left West Virgina with a very different administration than she had,” Tomblin said.
“It was not clear whether she was going to be successful in her second term.”
McCarthy also spoke at the Conservative Political Association’s (CPAC) Conservative Political Victory Fund (CPWF) awards ceremony in Washington on Saturday, where she said that she is proud of her work.
She also called for Trump to resign from office over the West VA wildfire.
The West Virgo County fire is still raging.
The area, in West Virgilia, was one of the worst in the U.S. in 2015, according to the U, and it has been the epicenter of numerous wildfires in the past few years.