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WV Rivers News: 3-Year Anniversary of the Water Crisis, Pipeline Update, Working with the New Administration

posted Jan 13, 2017, 7:17 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Jan 13, 2017, 7:18 AM ]
3-Years After the Water Crisis: What's Next for Water?

Monday, January 9, marked the 3-year anniversary of the Elk River chemical leak and WV Rivers and partners gathered in Charleston to remember the Water Crisis and look forward towards what's next for our water.

Evan Hansen, WV Rivers' science advisor and representative on the West Virginia Public Water System Supply Study Commission (PWSSSC) discussed the commission's new report which contains 17 recommendations to the legislature. Including a call for downstream water systems to be notified whenever the contents of an upstream chemical storage tank changes.

Advocates for a Safe Water System's Paul Dalzell shared the next steps for the Public Service Commission's investigation into West Virginia American Water. Two public hearings are scheduled for customers of West Virginia American Water to share their views over the company's handling of the Elk River chemical leak.

You can read more about the press conference here and check out photos here.

The 2017 West Virginia legislative session begins on February 8 and the recommendations of the PWSSSC will be a top priority. Stay informed and stay involved, sign-up to receive WV Rivers' Water Policy Updates through out the session.

New Year, New Leadership in West Virginia

As the statewide clean water policy advocate, WV Rivers works closely with statewide elected officials and commissions. Already we’re involved in our state’s leadership transitions. Our executive director, Angie Rosser, was selected by Governor-elect Justice to participate on his Energy and Environment policy transition team. Last month she was re-appointed to the State Conservation Committee that works closely with the WV Department of Agriculture overseeing policies related to the state’s conservation districts.

WV Rivers also has a seat on the Public Water System Supply Study Commission that recently issued recommendations to the incoming state legislature. “Especially in times of transition, it’s important to have a seat at the table,” said Angie Rosser. “We’re called upon to be the voice for all who benefit from clean water.”

Opportunity to Comment on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public comment. Like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, this DEIS is insufficient and lacks the critical information needed to fully evaluate the impacts of the proposed project. Public meetings on the DEIS are scheduled for March 1 in Elkins and March 2 Marlinton, with a comment deadline of April 6. We've prepared a fact sheet on how you can submit comments on the DEIS. Stay tuned to WV Rivers as the comment deadline approaches, we'll be sharing more detailed information on the DEIS and the comment process.

Check out the ACP DEIS in the news here.

WV Rivers Selected to Lead Chesapeake Bay Work

The Choose Clean Water Coalition is a multi-state, 200-member alliance of organizations advocating clean-water policies and funding at the federal level, along with regulatory accountability in states that drain into the Chesapeake Bay.

West Virginia members include watershed and education groups in the state’s 8-county region that includes the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers; it also includes regional and statewide groups working on policy and regulatory accountability. WV Rivers was recently selected to continue as the coalition’s WV state lead through 2018. Additionally, Angie Rosser, Executive Director of WV Rivers, was elected as co-chair of the coalition’s steering committee. Our work will include coordinating WV members to advocate for federal funding for watershed restoration programs in our state, organizing an annual trip to Capitol Hill, serving as a liaison to state and federal agencies and lawmakers, and helping to build capacity among Eastern Panhandle watershed groups. We’re so proud of our Eastern Panhandle watershed-based groups, and honored to support them.