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WV Rivers News: Special Water Policy Edition

posted Jan 16, 2015, 1:12 PM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Jan 16, 2015, 1:27 PM ]
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This week brought the opening of the WV legislative session and water will again be in the forefront. WV Rivers will be there at every turn and is offering an easy way for you to get current information.Sign up here to get on our list to receive weekly policy updates during the legislative session. We’ll keep you in the know about the ins and outs of decision making affecting water quality. And we’re counting on you to act on upcoming alerts to push our elected officials to do the right thing for our water, our health and our future.

Click here to view our 2015 Water Policy Agenda.

Tank Report Shows WV Rivers and Streams at Risk 

WV Rivers teamed up with Downstream Strategies to release a new report yesterday analyzing the 47,061 aboveground storage tanks registrations called for by last year’s water protection law (SB373). It provides information about the locations of tanks, types of substances they store, and types of industries that have registered the tanks. 

One of the remarkable findings is that nearly half of the tanks are located within 1,000 feet of surface water. As the legislature sets to debate which tanks will be regulated and inspected under the new law, we will press for oversight of these tanks that could easily contaminate our rivers and streams. 

Other key findings:
  • About three-quarters of the tanks are owned by the oil and gas industry.
  • 16 tanks contain MCHM, the chemical that contaminated the drinking water supply across 9 WV counties. 
  • Over 1,100 tanks didn’t pass their initial inspections, and only 55% of registered tanks have been certified as fit for service.
Click here to view our full report, “Aboveground Storage Tanks in West Virginia, A Snapshot”.

For a sampling of widespread media coverage of our report, click here and here and here.

Tank Rule Open for Comment

WVDEP needs to hear from you by Jan. 21 on the rule that sets regulation standards for aboveground storage tanks. Also on Jan. 21, WVDEP is holding a public hearing on the rule at 6 p.m. at 601 57th St. SE, Charleston, WV 25304. If you can’t make it in person, you can email your comments by Jan. 21 toWVDEPtankrules@wv.govTell WVDEP you want strong regulations of tanks close to surface waters and adequate bonding requirements to ensure tank owners will be financially responsible for potential contamination eventsClick here to view the proposed rule.

Hundreds Turn Out for Jan. 9 Events
The anniversary of the Elk River chemical leak brought people together to share information and celebrate progress toward cleaner water. WV Rivers worked with other member groups of the WV Safe Water Roundtable to host citizen education workshops, public officials’ panel, candlelight vigil, and the premier of the locally-produced film documentary, “Elk River Blues”. The overwhelming turnout is encouragement that people understand the importance of staying active for clean water. Hope is alive!

Click here for more January – A Month of Water Events

Angie Rosser facilitating the public officials’ panel including Senator Manchin, Secretary Huffman, Commissioner Gupta and Delegate Pushkin.

Citizens participating in water policy workshops sponsored by WV Rivers Coalition.

Riverside candlelight vigil honoring the waters.