CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The National Science Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to researchers at West Virginia University to study the effects of the Elk River chemical spill, according to an article by the Charleston Daily Mail.

Using university funds, researchers began taking water samples immediately after the disaster, and with the grant, they can continue to analyze water from taps and rivers throughout the Kanawha Valley, the article noted.

Read more on contaminants here.

A map of chemical exposure throughout the water distribution system to the public will eventually be released, reported the article.

"We want to determine short and long-term concentrations of these chemicals that were released in the river," said Jennifer Weidhaas, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at WVU and one of the project's leaders. "Ultimately we can evaluate the risk of the spill to people in Charleston and the environment."

"This is one of the largest human-made environmental disasters in this century," National Science Foundation Program Director William Cooper said. "In instances such as this, where the situation is developing and public health is involved, timing is everything."

Read the full article here.