WV Rivers Launches 2015 Water Policy Agenda
To lead into the legislative session, over 100 people attended citizen education workshops sponsored by WV Rivers. Here, we launched our 2015 water policy agenda with these four main points:
WV Environmental Council lobbyist Rob Goodwin delivering supportive comments at public hearing.
WV Rivers submitted extensive technical comments on DEP’s Aboveground Storage Tank Rule. Those comments, co-signed by ten additional organizations, can be found here. Angie Rosser also delivered oral comments on behalf of WV Rivers at Wednesday’s public hearing, found here. Thanks to all who took time to submit comments – it matters!
Next steps for the rule involve DEP filing written response to public comments, instituting revisions to the rule based on comments, and introducing the rule as a bill for the legislature’s consideration. We will be following this rule very closely as it moves through the process. Though it is a fairly strong rule now, the legislature can make changes to it. Industry comments reflect that they are interested in weakening the scope and force of the program. For a fact sheet on the rule, click here.
Water-related legislative developments this week included:
SB 175, Public Water Systems rule that implements new source water protection planning requirements, passed out of its first committee without amendments. In general we support this rule, and our comments can be found here. Its next stop is the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SCR 8 was introduced in the Senate to urge EPA to withdraw its rule that would clarify protections for WV’s headwater streams under the federal Clean Water Act. The resolution was referred to the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
SB 61 was introduced by Charleston-area Senator Walters to establish the “WV Water Sustainability Institute” designed to detect and remove pollutants from water supplies.
SB 234 was introduced to exempt municipal water and sewer utilities from Public Service Commission jurisdiction. We will be analyzing any water quality implications from this proposal.