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  • New Coal Industry Bill Would Strip Even More Water Protections Help Stop the Latest Assault on Water QualityYesterday, March 23, a new version of the omnibus bill backed by the WV Coal Association, SB 582, originated in the Senate ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2017, 12:09 PM by Kathleen Tyner
  • WV Rivers Policy Updates: Toxic Water Bill and Tank Bill Move Toward Senate Vote Clean Water Action of the WeekToxic Water Bill Moves to Full Senate – Take ActionLast night, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to advance HB 2506 to the ...
    Posted Mar 23, 2017, 9:21 AM by Kathleen Tyner
  • Citizen's Guide to Fracking Permits in WV - Webinar and Toolkit Learn More about the Citizen's Guide During a Webinar on 4/12Are you confused by the complicated permitting process required for shale gas development and it's related ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2017, 8:46 AM by Kathleen Tyner
  • Take Action: Mountain Valley and Mountaineer XPress Pipelines Submit Comments on the Mountain Valley Pipeline by 3/19The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is accepting comments through Sunday, March 19 on the Mountain Valley Pipeline and ...
    Posted Mar 15, 2017, 11:15 AM by Kathleen Tyner
  • Charleston: Two Things You Can Do For Public Lands This Week March 16 Town Hall with Senator ManchinSen. Joe Manchin is expected to participate in a town hall meeting in Charleston, March 16 at 6pm. The event takes place at ...
    Posted Mar 14, 2017, 12:29 PM by Kathleen Tyner
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 232. View more »

New Coal Industry Bill Would Strip Even More Water Protections

posted Mar 24, 2017, 12:09 PM by Kathleen Tyner

Help Stop the Latest Assault on Water Quality

Yesterday, March 23, a new version of the omnibus bill backed by the WV Coal Association, SB 582, originated in the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee. Within minutes of its introduction it was passed by committee and will now be voted on by the full Senate.

This bill would make alarming changes to water protections. It would undermine protections for streams impacted by mining, especially vulnerable headwater streams. The bill would make it easier for coal companies to get away with pollution, kill off life in streams, and not be held accountable. If passed, it would make West Virginia's narrative water quality standards among the weakest in the nation. Read more in this Charleston Gazette-Mail article.

This bill is fast-tracked to move through the Legislature, and the bill's supporters are trying to keep YOUR voice out of the process. Please make a donation to WV Rivers' Science Fund. Speak up and fight back against this bad bill!

Stay tuned to WV Rivers, we'll be using the Science Fund to develop a fact sheet on the coal bill and the tools you need to speak up for healthy rivers and streams!

WV Rivers Policy Updates: Toxic Water Bill and Tank Bill Move Toward Senate Vote

posted Mar 23, 2017, 9:20 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 23, 2017, 9:21 AM ]

Clean Water Action of the Week
Toxic Water Bill Moves to Full Senate – Take Action

Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-5 to advance HB 2506 to the Senate floor. Senator Randy Smith moved to cut off debate that prohibited the committee from considering any amendments that might improve the bill. Now the bill will be debated and voted on by the full Senate in the coming days. Your action has been tremendous on this bill – 900 of you have sent 11,300 letters to your Legislators on HB 2506, now is the time to echo the message. Let your Senators know you do not want more toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in our water and vote NO on HB 2506.

You can also thank Senators Miller, Jeffries, Romano, Woelfel and Beach for standing up for clean water and opposing the bill in committee. Read more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail here.


Tank Bill on Fast Track for Passage

Freedom Industries aboveground storage tanks after the leak of MCHM into the Elk River.

HB 2811, exempts 2,300 oil and gas tanks from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act, is set to be voted on by the full Senate within a couple days. It’s already passed the House, so if it passes the Senate it goes to the Governor to sign into law.


Though we are concerned about removing oversight of these tanks, our work resulted in important improvements to the bill that restored required registration, signage and notice to public water systems.

All Eyes on Coal Bill

Today we will learn more what will end up in an omnibus bill pushed by the WV Coal Association. Along with mine safety issues, it is also anticipated to include changes to water regulations. The Senate Energy, Industry and Mining will present it as an originating bill (as opposed to amending an already introduced bill) at 1pm today. Tune in here. Also read more background here.

Environmental Advocate Safe, For Now

Indications are that HB 2909 and its companion SB 583 to abolish WVDEP’s Office of the Environmental Advocate are stalled. The Environmental Advocate serves as an essential point of contact for citizen concerns and access to information. The bill’s sponsors apparently got the message that the public deserves and benefits from this position that was established by the Legislature two decades ago.


Help Keep Up the Fight for Clean Water!

With the omnibus coal bill and the full Senate vote on HB 2506 looming, please make a tax-deductible donation to WV Rivers' Science Fund. The Science Fund keeps a pro-water presence in the Capitol. It pays for fact sheets and tools that make it easy for you to submit comments on water policy. It supported the research and expert testimony our Science Advisor, Evan Hansen, provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday on HB 2506.

Have you responded to one of WV Rivers' action alerts? We need just 60 donations of $50 to keep it easy for you to take action on water quality issues. Please donate today!

Citizen's Guide to Fracking Permits in WV - Webinar and Toolkit

posted Mar 20, 2017, 8:46 AM by Kathleen Tyner

Learn More about the Citizen's Guide During a Webinar on 4/12

Are you confused by the complicated permitting process required for shale gas development and it's related infrastructure? Between well pad construction, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the pipelines needed to transport the fracked gas, there are multiple permits companies must receive from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) before construction can begin.

That's why we've created the Citizen's Guide to Fracking Permits in West Virginia. The Citizen's Guide will help you understand and get involved in the permitting process. Download the Citizen's Guide here.

We'll be holding a free webinar on the Citizen's Guide on April, 12 with our partner, Downstream Strategies. Learn more about the Guide and how it can help you submit meaningful comments to the WVDEP.

What:
Free Webinar on the Citizen's Guide to Fracking Permits in West Virginia
When: Wednesday, April 12, 1-3pm
Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1401986558402369795

Take Action: Mountain Valley and Mountaineer XPress Pipelines

posted Mar 15, 2017, 11:08 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 15, 2017, 11:15 AM ]

Submit Comments on the Mountain Valley Pipeline by 3/19

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is accepting comments through Sunday, March 19 on the Mountain Valley Pipeline and its permits required by the state. 

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 300 mile pipeline, which as proposed, would cross Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers, and Monroe Counties in West Virginia. 

The WVDEP is accepting comments on three permits required by the state:
We made it easy for you to submit comments online! Click here to send your comments

Comments are due Sunday, March 19. Check out our fact sheet on the MVP WVDEP permits and view our suggested comments to learn more.


Submit Comments on the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline

The Mountaineer XPress Pipeline (MXP) is a proposed 170-mile pipeline in West Virginia. As proposed, the project would connect to a network of pipelines as part of the Columbia Pipeline Group which spans multiple states.

Currently, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is accepting comments on the MXP's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). We've reviewed the DEIS and found that it lacks critical information needed to fully evaluate the impacts of the project.

Read our fact sheet on the DEIS and how to submit comments here.

FERC will be hosting public hearings on the MXP. At the hearings you'll have the opportunity to learn more about the project and submit comments. Public hearings are scheduled for:


Comments are due April 24, 2017. Stay tuned to WV Rivers, we'll be sharing more information on the MXP as the the comment deadline approaches.


Charleston: Two Things You Can Do For Public Lands This Week

posted Mar 14, 2017, 12:25 PM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 12:29 PM ]

March 16 Town Hall with Senator Manchin


Sen. Joe Manchin is expected to participate in a town hall meeting in Charleston, March 16 at 6pm. The event takes place at the LaBelle Theatre, 311 D St., South Charleston.

Want to ask Sen. Manchin a public lands question? Here are two.

LWCF. Thank him for supporting permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund last year. This fund from offshore oil and gas leases helped purchase most of WV’s public land infrastructure. Will he work for LWCF again this year?

Public lands sell-off. There have been bills in Congress to sell off public lands or give them to the states. Sen. Manchin knows how important these lands are to our economy and our heritage. Will he oppose efforts to sell off our national forests and national rivers?

March 18 Public Lands Rally in Charleston

A group of young public lands advocates is hosting a Rally for Public Lands on the steps of the WV Capitol Building, March 18 — and everyone is invited. Come out and show your support for the Monongahela National Forest, the Gauley and New Rivers, and all our public lands. Learn more here.

WV Rivers Policy Updates: Tank Bill Improvements, Help Keep Science a Priority, Contact Your Senators

posted Mar 14, 2017, 9:34 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 14, 2017, 9:45 AM ]

Clean Water Action of the Week
Support Scientific Water Policy Analysis

If scientific and fact-based water policy analysis and advocacy matters to you, please make a tax-deductible donation to WV Rivers' Science Fund. The Science Fund pays for critical needs like fact sheets, expert testimony, and tools that make it easy for you to submit comments. This is expensive, labor intensive work and it depends entirely on support from people, like you, to happen.

Thanks to a pledge from a generous donor, the first $10,000 donated to WV Rivers' Science Fund will be matched, doubling your impact! Any amount helps, please donate today!

Tank Registry Still Intact

WV Rivers' Executive Director, Angie Rosser, testifies during the HB 2811 public hearing.


At yesterday’s House Judiciary public hearing and committee meeting on HB 2811, legislators heard concerns from citizens and public water systems about the exemptions the bill adds to the Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Act. The introduced version of the bill would have exempted 29,000 oil and gas tanks from WVDEP’s AST registry – a database established after the Freedom Industries tank leak to have information available on ownership, location, size, age and contents of ASTs across the state.

The committee responded to our concerns by restoring the requirements for these tanks to register, label and to provide notice to downstream public water systems. Though the bill passed out of committee would still exempt near 2,300 oil and gas tanks from regulation under the AST Act, maintaining the AST registry is a significant victory! The bill now goes to the full House for vote. Read more from the Charleston Gazette-Mail here.

Contact Your Senators Now on HB 2506 

We're still in a holding pattern as we wait for the West Virginia Senate to take up HB 2506, the bill that would allow more toxins to be discharged in to our water. If you haven't already, please send you senators a letter asking them to reject HB 2506. Already sent a letter? Ask your friends and family members to get involved

Looking for some more clarification on how HB 2506 is bad for rivers? The bill proposes to change the way discharge limits are calculated. In essence, through the calculation change, rivers would appear to have much more water flowing through them at their low flows, which would create the potential for a higher amount of toxic discharge. WV Rivers' science advisor, Evan Hansen, created the chart below to show how changing the calculation would apply to rivers throughout the state.


Find this table and more in our HB 2506 fact sheet. Want more scientific analysis like this? Make a tax-deductible donation to our Science Fund!

Tracking Water Policy

Last week a bill, HB 2909, was introduced that would abolish the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Office of the Environmental Advocate. The Environmental Advocate serves an important role in state government, providing daily assistance to the public on environmental issues and WVDEP related questions. Important issues handled by the Office of the Environmental Advocate include: questions about the public comment process; how to appeal agency decisions; and how to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

We'll be keeping a close eye on this bill and we'll let you know when it's time to take action!

Double Your Donation For Clean Water!

posted Mar 10, 2017, 7:37 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 10, 2017, 7:43 AM ]

Your Gift to WV Rivers Will be Matched, Doubling Your Impact!

Dear Friend of West Virginia Rivers,

The fight for clean, safe water in West Virginia has never been more critical. Our waters are threatened by unprecedented rollbacks to water protections on the state and federal levels.

That's why I am asking you to double your donation for clean water. Thanks to a pledge from a generous donor, the first $10,000 donated to WV Rivers' Science Fund between now and the end of the legislative session, April 8, will be matched dollar for dollar!

We need to raise at least $10,000 for our Science Fund to receive this match. Make a donation today.

On the federal level, President Trump has laid the groundwork to remove the Clean Water Rule. This reckless act rejects years of sound science. It would remove protections for West Virginia's headwater streams, putting the 54% of West Virginians who get their drinking water from sources that rely on headwaters at risk for increased pollution and unsafe water.

Here in West Virginia, the Legislature is debating a bill that would allow increased amounts of toxins and cancer-causing chemicals into our water. The Toxic Water Bill, HB 2506, also known as the ‘Cancer Creek Bill' has passed out of the WV House and will move to the Senate next.

The fight to stop HB 2506 isn't over! Make a donation to WV Rivers Science Fund and help stop this dangerous bill.



Here's how we'll put the Science Fund to work:

Science-based defense against policies that harm West Virginia's water.
Our Science Advisor, Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies,
provides fact-based scientific testimony to the Legislature. This requires exhaustive research and policy analysis to counter industry claims. We need $10,000 to make sure the Legislature continues to hear testimony supporting scientifically sound water policies.

Telling you the facts about what's happening to our water. Though our weekly water policy updates and publications we make sure that you understand what’s happening and what it means for our water. We’re working with the media to hold our decision makers accountable and force transparent decision making. This is labor-intensive work. We need to raise $5,000 to keep you up-to-date on water policy.

Keeping West Virginian’s voices front and center. We give you the tools to make your voice heard. Through fact sheets, action alerts and technical assistance WV Rivers works hard to make sure you are part of the discussion.We need $3,000 to keep it easy for you to submit your comments on water policy.

Lobbying for safe water. We’re at the Capitol as your advocate for our rivers and streams. We're going head to head with high-paid industry lobbyists to make sure our legislators have the facts. One gift of $1,000 will be doubled to send a team of West Virginians to Washington DC; $6,000 funds our legislative work in Charleston.

WV Rivers' Science Fund is paid for by people like you. We can't do it without you! Please donate today.

For our rivers, 
Angie Rosser
Executive Director, West Virginia Rivers

WV Rivers News: Job Announcement, Water Policy, Pipeline Update, Water Quality Monitoring Training

posted Mar 8, 2017, 7:22 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 8, 2017, 7:22 AM ]

Water Policy Update & Call to Action
Citizens packed the House Chamber during the HB 2506 public hearing.

We're 4 weeks into the 2017 West Virginia Legislative Session and chances are you've already heard about, or have taken action on, one of this session's most high profile bills, the Toxic Water Bill, HB 2506.

HB 2506 makes changes to the way pollution limits are calculated and would increase the amount of toxins industry could discharge into our rivers. HB 2506 recently passed the WV House and will soon be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee. We've created a fact sheet on the bill that debunks some of the most misleading claims made about HB 2506.

Now, we need you to contact your Senators and ask them to keep more toxins and cancer-causing chemicals out of our drinking water supplies by voting NO on HB 2506! Send a letter.

This week we also saw the introduction of a bill we were anticipating, HB 2811, which would add exemptions to the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. We are reviewing the bill and will share more information soon.

Make sure you sign-up for our weekly water policy updates! We'll email you once a week during the legislative session so you always have the most up-to-date information on policies affecting our water and the tools to take action!

Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Training - Charleston

Grab your calendars! We're hosting a water quality monitoring training in Charleston, WV on April 8. As part of the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program, we're training volunteers to effectively monitor water quality in areas with the potential to experience impacts from shale gas development.

Check out Guarding Our Waters, a short film on the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program, to learn more about how volunteers are making a difference for the waters they love.


What: Shale Gas Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Training
When: Saturday, April 8, 10:00am - 4:00pm 
Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation Church
    520 Kanawha Boulevard West
    Charleston, WV 25302
    Webb Room

Pre-registration is required for the training. Please fill out this form to register, or call 304-637-7201. 

Please apply by Wednesday, April 5. Directions to the training session and an agenda will be provided the week of the training.

Organizing Around Pipelines
WV Rivers' Program Director, Autumn Crowe, provides technical assistance to communities impacted by natural gas pipelines.

WV Rivers is providing technical assistance to communities and individuals on pipeline permits throughout the state. We're working with local partners to host community meetings, educate residents and help prepare comments on pipeline projects. Read about our pipeline organizing here, here and here.

Get involved!
You can submit comments on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's Draft Environmental Impact Statement through April 6. Read our fact sheet to learn how to submit comments.

The WV Department of Environmental Protection is also accepting comments on permits required for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. WVDEP is accepting comments through March 19. Learn how to submit comments here.

We're Hiring a Public Lands Outreach Coordinator

WV Rivers is looking to hire a Public Lands Outreach Coordinator to build support for public lands and raise awareness of both national and local threats. The position will support the work of West Virginians for Public Lands — a vibrant coalition of conservation groups, businesses, and citizens working collaboratively to defend our shared public lands.

The position is a 40 hours/week, one-year position, with the potential for extension. Preference for an experienced outdoors person, especially someone with a passion for fishing, hunting or enjoying our public lands generally. Persons with experience and success in building diverse coalitions are encouraged to apply. View the job posting here

How to Apply
Send resume and cover letter to wvrivers@wvrivers.org with “Public Lands Coordinator” in the subject line by March 20.

Share Your Opinion on West Virginia's Water Quality 

Researchers at the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design are conducting a survey on perceptions of water quality in West Virginia. Please consider sharing your opinions by taking the survey.

The anonymous survey has 27 questions, and should take only 15 minutes of your time to complete. Please follow this link to start the survey.

WV Rivers in the News
Public hearing decries relaxing WV water quality standards 

Community to raise concerns, ask questions at Mountain Valley Pipeline meeting Tuesday

HB 2506 Drawing Heated Debate

Water pollution bill makes broad changes sought by industry 

West Virginia Rivers Holds a Community Meeting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline 


Public meeting to be held Feb. 28 regarding Mountain Valley Pipeline

WV Senate leaders begin looking at water pollution bill

Meeting highlights pipeline concerns
Bill that allows more WV water pollution advances

Upshur County Commission hears about proposed pipeline

Judge blasts WVDEP, EPA over lack of mine pollution cleanup 

Community meeting for pipeline scheduled

West Virginia House Votes to Revise Water Pollution Limits

Group: vital information missing from pipeline permits

W.Va. lawmakers support Trump’s actions to stop Waters of the United States rule

West Virginia May Change Water Pollution Rule

Kanawha County: Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Training - April 8, Charleston

posted Mar 8, 2017, 6:06 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 10, 2017, 10:14 AM ]

Learn to Monitor Water Quality

Vulnerable headwater streams are at risk from shale gas development. That’s why WV Rivers and Trout Unlimited are training volunteers, as part of the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program, to effectively monitor water quality in areas with the potential to experience impacts from shale gas development.

The program will be hosting a training in Charleston, WV on Saturday, April 8.
What: Shale Gas Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Training
When: Saturday, April 8, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation Church
    520 Kanawha Boulevard West
    Charleston, WV 25302
    Webb Room

Pre-registration is required for the training. Please fill out this form to register, or call 304-637-7201.

Please apply by Wednesday, April 5. Directions to the training session and an agenda will be provided the week of the training.
Check out Guarding Our Waters, a short film on the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Program, to learn more about how volunteers are making a difference for the waters they love.

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument News - March 2017

posted Mar 6, 2017, 11:52 AM by Kathleen Tyner


WV Groups Launch West Virginians for Public Lands

WV organizations working for the Birthplace of Rivers National Monument have formed West Virginians for Public Lands, a coalition to fight off looming attacks on public lands. We will partner with groups across the country to raise millions of voices for our public lands system. If we don’t work together, we could lose the lands we love and the funding to support them.

A new website for the effort is under construction. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

This Week’s Action: 2 Minutes for Public Lands

The Senate votes this week to revoke the Methane Waste Rule, which would reduce the amount of methane burned, flared, or leaked from oil and gas operations on public lands. The rule would save taxpayers millions and reduce pollution. It affects leases on ALL federal lands — including in West Virginia.

Legislation revoking the rule already has passed the House. We need Senators Manchin and Capito to vote against revoking the Methane Rule. There are untapped leases in The Mon; this matters.

Here’s what you can do. Post on the Facebook pages of Senator Manchin and Senator Capito, asking them to stand up for West Virginians and keep the Methane Rule. Call Sen. Manchin’s Charleston office at 304-342-5855, and Sen. Capito’s office at 304-347-5372. Ask them to vote against revoking the Methane Rule.

Help spread the word: Share this email with your networks.

Young Advocates Rally for Public Lands

A group of young public lands advocates is hosting a Rally for Public Lands on the steps of the WV Capitol Building March 18 — and everyone is invited. Come out and show your support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Antiquities Act, and keeping our public lands in public hands. Learn more here.

Senate Bill Would Gut Antiquities Act
Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument in Maine.

Senator Capito co-sponsored a bill to take away presidential authority to proclaim national monuments, a tool used by nearly every president over the last 100 years. The bill also states that Congress can establish national monuments only with approval from the state legislature and local governments where the proposed monument is located.

Remember, national monuments are created only on existing federal land. And national monuments belong to ALL Americans. That’s why we need to keep the Antiquities Act the way it is now — so that they can be created by the president or Congress.

National Monuments on Chopping Block?

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Newly confirmed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will likely travel to Utah to consider revoking Bears Ears National Monument or significantly reducing its boundaries. Revoking a national monument would set a terrible precedent that puts all monuments at risk. We strongly oppose these efforts. Stay tuned! Learn more about the Bears Ears National Monument.

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