Tank Bill Rollbacks Pass
In a fight to the bitter end we saw SB 423, Amending the Aboveground Storage Tank Act, pass on a 78-21 vote. WV Rivers and allied lobbyists were working throughout the session to the minutes before the final vote on improving the bill that seemed destined to pass this Legislature. We were successful in garnering support for a couple amendments that strengthened the frequency DEP’s required inspections from every 5 to 3 years for Level 1 tanks and tank owners’ responsibility to share information with water utilities.
Though we gained bipartisan and leadership support of an amendment to tighten up a potential loophole for tanks to be determined in compliance with the Act under weaker standards, that critical amendment failed on a 67-32 vote.
Thank you to all who made your voice heard through emails, calls, and long days and nights in the Capitol. For a glimpse into why we needed your support at every turn, check out the bill history here. We’re proud of our intensive efforts and appreciate your support! We know we made a difference.
It’s important to thank those who ultimately voted against the bill. Send an email to these Delegates letting them know you appreciate their vote to protect our water: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com.
Check out the Charleston Gazette’s coverage of the House debate here and our summary sheet of SB423 concerns here.
Another Way You Can HelpOur Science Fund helps Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies provide our team with technical expertise and data analysis to support our policy work.
Our effectiveness and credibility relies on having access to independent scientific expertise. With the intense demand to defend water protections these past months, we are facing a budget shortfall in our Science Fund. Can you help today to get us through this year? A contribution to our Science Fund allows us to hire specialists to provide technical analysis and testimony to decision makers and the public. Thank you for making our team strong at this critical time by making an online donation today.
Protections for the Kanawha Headed to the Governor
In a victory for the Kanawha River, the DEP rules bundle bill (HB2283) containing the removal of the Category A drinking water protection exemption for the stretch of the Kanawha through Charleston passed the legislature and will soon be on the desk of the Governor for his signature. We can celebrate a healthier future for the Kanawha River – congrats, everyone!
What’s Next for Our Water?
The rush of the legislative session is over for now, but our work is not finished. Here are ways we will need to be involved moving forward:
It was a grueling session, but the highlight was working with fabulous team of allied lobbyists and citizen activists. Check out our photo gallery of water warriors here.