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WV Rivers Water Policy Updates: Final Week of the 2016 Legislative Session

posted Mar 7, 2016, 9:39 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 8, 2016, 12:49 PM ]
Water Policy Call to Action

In WV Rivers' weekly Water Policy Update we highlight the most important action you can take for clean water that week. In-depth information about the actions can be found in the articles below.

This week's action: Contact your delegate and tell them to support SB 625 that is critical to public participation in source water protection planning.

Your Letters Worked - SB 625 Advances to House Floor!                   
Your contacts to the House Judiciary Committee worked! SB 625 to keep public access to information about threats to water supplies passed out of the committee Saturday evening. Now it should be voted on by the full House by mid-week.

Please take action to let your Delegates know to vote “yes” – we know it’s making a difference! For more information, check out our fact sheet.

EPA Voices Concerns on Water Quality Standards Revisions

Many of you have been helpful in voicing concerns to legislators about HB 4053, a bundle of DEP rules that includes revisions to allow more Aluminum and Selenium pollution in rivers and streams across the state. EPA also shares some of our concerns in a recent letter to DEP.

Read Charleston Gazette-Mail’s coverage here. If these revisions pass the Legislature, EPA must approve them before they can go into effect. We will keep you posted on how this plays out!

Bills We’re Watching

This is the final week and many bills have died – including SB 565 related to drilling permit changes – thanks for your contacts last week that helped lay that bad idea to rest! Bills still in play we’re keeping a close eye on include:
  • SB 619, the “Regulatory Reform Act of 2016” makes major changes to the way regulations are processed and evaluated, with heavy weight on evaluating their costs to industry.
  • SB 601, makes it easier to site and build drilling waste landfills, more info from WVCAG/SORO.
  • HB 4726, relates to coal mining and makes changes to the approval process for site-specific water quality standard variances that currently does not include a citizen appeal process.
  • HB 4053, the DEP rules bundle that includes revisions to water quality standards and aboveground storage tank regulations.
  • SB 625, keeps public access to information for effective source water protection planning. Take action to tell your Delegate to vote yes!
Safe Water Event - March 22

Provide your input on local drinking water protection efforts! WV Rivers and Fayette County Resource Coordinator Office are co-hosting a public forum on safe water. Fayette County Water Utilities will be present to talk about potential contamination sources to local water supplies, discuss collaborative ways to manage those threats, and explain how to provide input on source water protection plans.

What: Safe Water Public Forum
When: March 22, 5-7pm
Hawks Nest State Park

RSVP to our Facebook event and invite your friends!

For more information visit our webpage.