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WV Rivers News: Legislative Session Wrap-Up, Supporter Survey, Safe Water Events, Birthplace of Rivers Maps

posted Mar 11, 2016, 8:47 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Mar 31, 2016, 7:05 AM by David Lillard ]
2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

We’re hearing from you in our member survey that you place great value on our policy work. We value the 4,600 letters you sent to lawmakers as well as your donations that make our presence at the Capitol possible! Tomorrow is the final 60-day mark of the regular session of the WV Legislature.

As the session closes we've updated our policy webpage to bring you up to speed on what happened.

Looking back on the session we have some great accomplishments for clean water to celebrate:
  • Unanimous passage of SB 625 to keep public access to information on threats to drinking water supplies. Click here for today's Gazette-Mail article on SB 625.
  • Preservation of well permit requirements for gas drilling threatened by SB 565.
  • Presentation of ten recommendations to protect water supplies to the Joint Oversight Commission on State Water Resources.
  • No rollbacks in source water protection requirements or “Category A” drinking water use water quality standard.
Challenges certainly are ahead of us. The Legislature was poised to rollback aboveground storage tank inspection requirements and other safeguards. They also were ready to pass revisions to water quality standards that would allow more toxic Aluminum and Selenium in our rivers and streams. Both measured died -- at least temporarily -- when these and a "rules bundle" failed to pass the House. 

In addition, the EPA must approve changes to water quality standards before they can go into effect. A recent letter indicates they share our concerns.

In the midst of a massive drinking water crisis, water was a priority for the entire Legislature. Two years later, we have to work hard to keep it a priority. Your letters, calls and involvement make a difference - please keep it up!

Elections are just around the corner. Please keep talking to candidates about their commitment to protect our water, and remind your friends and family to vote!

Protect Your Local Drinking Water Sources 

Get involved protecting your local drinking water! The 2014 Water Crisis revealed the need for proactive approaches to protect drinking water sources. That's why WV Rivers developed the Safe Water For West Virginia Program, a citizens’ education initiative to promote community involvement in source water protection planning.

We're planning public forums to connect citizens with their water providers and provide education and site-specific technical assistance.

Upcoming Safe Water Forums will be held at the following locations:
March 22, 2016 at Hawks Nest State Park
April 30, 2016 in Alderson, WV - More information will be available soon here.
May 12, 2016 in Shepherdstown, WV

WV Rivers Needs to Hear From You!

Help West Virginia Rivers Coalition better serve you and the rivers of West Virginia!

We are asking supporters, like you, to complete this survey which will help guide WV Rivers' future planning. Your responses are anonymous and will not be shared outside of the organization.

Please complete the survey by March 20. Take the survey here.

New Tourism Map for Birthplace of Rivers 

A new map of the proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is hot off the press, and available at retails stores throughout West Virginia. The map highlights some of the awesome experiences awaiting everyone in monument area. The maps are free! Stop in one of our partner locations and get one for yourself and several to distribute to your friends. For a list of participating stores, click here.

If you haven’t written to President Obama to voice your support for Birthplace of Rivers yet, you can sign a postcard when you’re there (just like River the dog!)