Tips for public hearings

What: Public Hearing on SB 373 related to water resources protection 

When: Monday, February 3rd, 5:30pm 

Where: House Chambers, State Capitol Building 

Who: Joint Committee on Health & Finance 

Why: For legislators to hear citizen input 

 

Tips: 

  • Arrive ten minutes early to sign up to speak. 
  • Each speaker can expect only to have 1-2 minutes to speak. 
  • Written comments can be submitted for the record. 
  • Below are some suggested talking points as a guide. Citizens are encouraged to give their own perspective, in their words, of how the government needs to better protect drinking water supplies and public health. 


Citizen messaging framework: 

  • We deserve thorough protection from all contamination threats to our water supplies. 
  • The government is failing us and needs to do a better job in regulating and enforcing protections. 
  • We deserve to have all available government resources applied to understand and responsibly advise the public on risks and solutions to this health crisis. 


Needed technical improvements to SB 373: 

  • Close loopholes – there are many exclusions to tanks that are regulated under the new program, these need carefully analyzed. All tanks and all additional sources of potential contamination need adequately regulated. 
  • Require individual permits and regular inspections for all potential significant contaminant sources within zones of critical concern for public drinking water systems. 
  • Require and fund development of source water protection plans that address all significant contamination threats and include full stakeholder and community involvement. 
  • Assure that all pollution sources can be enforced via the Clean Water Act with provisions for citizen involvement. 
  • Support the authorization (not duty) of the local health department to inspect these facilities. 


Additional actions needed: 

  • Implementation of Chemical Safety Board Recommendations. 
  • Continuation of bottled water distribution to all affected communities. 
  • An environmentally sound and safe mechanism to flush the chemical from the water treatment plant, distribution lines, sewage systems, residences, etc. 
  • Immediate institution of a medical surveillance program. 
  • Immediate studies on the short and long term effects of MCHM and its breakdown chemicals on human health 

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angie wv,
Feb 1, 2014, 12:51 PM
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