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WV Rivers News: Power Plants, Drilling Waste, Watershed Partners, Gauley Fest

posted Aug 8, 2014, 7:54 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Aug 8, 2014, 7:58 AM ]
Taking a Water Quality Snapshot

WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Project volunteer Erica Staats takes a water quality sample on Snorting Lick Run

Volunteers with the WV-VA Water Quality Monitoring Project, implemented in West Virginia by Trout Unlimited and West Virginia Rivers Coalition, blanketed the Northern Monongahela Forest to take a water quality snapshot. Thanks to the efforts of 30 volunteers, samples were collected on 54 different streams giving us a good picture of current conditions in our mountain headwaters. Click here to learn more. 

AEP Agrees to Clean Up Pollution

Last week American Electric Power entered into a settlement with West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Sierra Club over water pollution from three of the company’s coal-fired power plants in WV. We found the plants are repeatedly discharging pollution into local rivers and streams in excess of limits set by the Clean Water Act. The EPA says nearly three quarters of all toxic water pollution comes from coal-fired power plants. This agreement makes it clear: power plants have to follow the law to keep our rivers healthy. Read more here.
New Concerns About Radioactivity in Water Supplies 
WVRC weighed in at a public hearing on proposed rules allowing disposal of toxic drill cuttings from “fracking” operations in WV municipal landfills. Drilling waste is known to contain radiological elements that dissolve in water that leaches from landfills. After treatment, it is discharged into local streams. A major concern is that radioactivity cannot be removed with current technology. And the volume of waste is immense – already approaching 1 million tons per year in WV, and rising. As your voice, WVRC urged the state to thoroughly monitor landfills accepting this waste to better understand dangers and plan for long-term solutions that protect our water. To read WVRC’s comments, click here.

WVRC Meets With Watershed Partners

Matt Pennington describes landscape improvements planned for the town cemetery to prevent future flooding and erosion. Project funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is an important resource for river conservation in WV’s eastern counties.
WVRC hosted Choose Clean Water Coalition Executive Director Jill Witkowski on a tour to meet watershed leaders in Morgan County. WV Rivers is the state lead for the coalition’s effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay watershed involving 8 WV counties.We joined Friends of the Cacapon River for an on-water tour of the beautiful lower Cacapon, which enters the Potomac just above Berkeley Springs, WV. Thanks to the Warm Springs Watershed AssociationRegion 9 Chesapeake Bay Program Coordinator Matt Pennington and Sleepy Creek Watershed Association for providing overview of the hydrology of the Berkeley Springs area and stormwater management projects underway.

Volunteers Needed

WVRC is headed to Gauley Fest on September 19-20 and we need volunteers to help us set-up and staff our booth! If you're interested in volunteering please call 304-637-7201 or email 


September 8: Watershed Celebration Day

The 16th Annual Watershed Celebration Day will feature a visit to Charleston where you can meet with your elected officials and lean more about source water protection. To learn more and register pleaseclick here.
September 13: 
Eastern Panhandle 

Ag Field Day
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association and the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District are hosting an ag field day in Morgan Co. to demonstrate management practices that improve agricultural productivity and sustainability, and to share info on available financial and technical assistance programs. Contact Suzy Lucas at 304-263-4376 or for information.