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WV Rivers News: Water Policy Preview and Upcoming Events

posted Feb 9, 2017, 7:43 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Feb 9, 2017, 7:44 AM ]
2017 WV Legislative Session: Defending Water Quality

The 2017 West Virginia legislative session began yesterday, February 8, and we know it will be a tough one. We anticipate an onslaught of attempts to eliminate or weaken current laws that protect our water.

In his first State of the State address, Governor Justice reinforced this belief when he singled out the WV DEP saying, “They’re not there to tell us ‘no.’", referring to his vision of the agency's role in making West Virginia more friendly for industry.

We need you working along side of us to defend our water!

Starting next week, we'll be sending weekly Water Policy Updates to help you stay informed and take action when your voice can make a difference. Sign up here.

Here's what we need your help on:

  • Water Quality Standards: while we successfully made our voices heard last fall on bad revisions to WV's water quality standards, we need to be ready to defend against attempts to allow increased water pollution during the legislative session. 
  • Category A Drinking Water Protection: Category A protects our waters so they can safely be used as drinking water sources. We know industry wants to remove Category A protection from the vast majority of West Virginia's waterways.
  • Protecting Private Land: issues over eminent domain and private property will likely be on the agenda, including a bill that was defeated last legislative session which would have allowed gas company surveyors onto private property without permission.
  • Rollbacks to the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (ASTA): passed after the 2014 Elk River chemical leak, ASTA regulates certain aboveground storage tanks, like the Freedom Industries tank that caused the water crisis. Since the passage of the Act, the oil and gas industry has lobbied for an industry-wide exemption. We must be ready for a repeat attempt.

Stay informed and stay involved, sign-up for Water Policy Updates, "like" WV Rivers on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Support our work at the State Capitol by making a tax-deductible donation to ensure that water has a voice this legislative session.

Get Involved! Upcoming Events 

Events are happening around the state and region that aim to better protect our water. We've included some upcoming events below.

Feb. 9: TransCanada Open House on Proposed Gas Pipeline in Hancock, MD

Feb. 9: Community Drinking Water Meeting in Fayetteville, WV

Feb. 17-18: National Paddling Film Festival in Frankfort, KY

Feb. 23: Community Meeting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Buckhannon, WV

Feb. 27: Environment Day at the WV Legislature in Charleston, WV

March 4: Water Quality Monitoring Training in Davis, WV

WV Rivers in the News
Justice says he’s going to make DEP stop saying ‘no’ to industry 

State representatives vote to repeal Streams Protection Rule

Federal probe finds lax DEP oversight of mining 

Residents hear concerns about possible cuts to Water Quality Standards 

Amid protests from citizens, Caperton hires new DEP environmental advocate

New secretary fires WVDEP environmental advocate

Angie Rosser: A more welcoming WV would be more prosperous

Residents urge thorough PSC probe of water crisis

PSC Holds Hearing About MCHM Water Crisis

Third Anniversary of West Virginia Water Crisis

Event commemorates 3-year anniversary of W.Va. chemical spill/water contamination

Three Years After the Elk River Chemical Spill, Advocates Continue to Work to Protect Drinking Water

3 years after MCHM spill, concern about WV drinking water remains