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WV Rivers Water Policy Updates: Hearing on Drinking Water Protection, Pipelines, Tracking Water

posted Feb 13, 2015, 7:43 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Feb 13, 2015, 7:44 AM ]

Come to Public Hearing on Monday - Feb. 16

The Kanawha River deserves to be protected as drinking water supply.

What: Public Hearing on HB 2289 to reclassify the Kanawha River to be protected as a drinking water supply (Category A)
WhenMonday, February 16, 8:30am
Where: State Capitol Building, House Chamber
Why: Legislators need to hear from you about the importance of protecting drinking water supplies.

We need all hands on deck to show the Legislature that people value water! Please come, and bring friends. Here are some pointers:
  • Anyone can speak at the hearing. Get to the House Chamber 10 min. early and sign up to speak on the page that says “in Support of HB 2289″.
  • Prepare to only have about 1-2 minutes to speak.
  • You can bring a copy of your comments to submit for the record. You can also bring friends’ written comments and submit them on their behalf.
  • Check our our Category A Fact Sheet here.
Here’s core messaging, but it’s important to personalize your comments on why protecting our water is important to you:
  1. Protect our water supplies for current and future drinking water use.
  2. Support HB 2289 to remove the Category A exemption for the Kanawha River.
  3. Reject amendments to weaken Category A protections statewide. 

Tracking Water

Additional water-related bills we’re tracking this week in include:

SB 423 / HB 2574Amending the Aboveground Storage Tank Act: This bill severely guts the Act that was passed last year. Click here for our SB 423 / HB 2574 Fact Sheet. We, along with many allied lobbyists and citizens, have been talking to as many legislators as possible about our concerns. TheSenate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up the bill early next week and needs to hear from you. Tell them to preserve protections for our water passed last year and reject SB 423.
HB 2333, Public Water Systems: This rule requires utilities to involve the public in developing source water protection plans cleared its first committee intact. We are awaiting the House Judiciary Committee to take it up before it will go to the full House for a vote. Tell your legislators to support HB 2333 and invest in strong source water protection plans.

SB 165, Drill Cuttings Disposal: This rule was passed out of the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Wednesdaywithout amendments, but not without suggestions from Senator Facemire that requiring drilling companies to take their waste to landfills is an undue burden and it would be better to allow them to leave the waste on the landowner’s property. Next stop is the Senate Judiciary Committee. Radioactive elements and other heavy metals in drilling waste dissolve and can end up in our water supplies. Tell your legislators to not allow more radioactivity in our landfills.

SB 357 / HB 2566 “Coal Jobs and Safety Act”: This bill relieves coal companies from meeting water quality standards in their pollution permits and drastically weakens the aluminum water quality standard. The Senate passed the bill this week on a 26-8 vote
. Now it goes to the House Judiciary Committee before it will be voted on by the House of Delegates. Tell your legislators to oppose these bills that will increase pollution in our waters.
Concerned About Pipelines in our National Forests?

Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline route.

Dominion Resources has requested a permit to begin surveying in the Monongahela National Forest for the construction of a large transmission pipeline. The route would bisect sensitive headwaters areas. Today you can weigh in by submitting comments to the Forest Service. Friends of Blackwater is making it easy to do just that – click here for more info on why and how to comment.