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WV Rivers Water Policy Updates: Week 2 of the 2016 Legislative Session

posted Jan 25, 2016, 11:27 AM by Kathleen Tyner   [ updated Feb 1, 2016, 8:20 AM ]
Water Policy Call to Action - Week 2

In each weekly WV Rivers Water Policy Update we'll highlight the most important action you take for clean water that week. In-depth information about the actions can be found in the articles below.

This week's action: Click here to contact House Speaker Armstead and Senate President Cole and request that the Public Water System Supply Study Commission recommendations to protect water supplies are considered by the legislature.

Legislature Needs to Consider Study Commission Report

The 2014 water crisis revealed the need to take an in-depth look at how to improve protection of water supplies. The Public Water System Supply Study Commission was established by the Legislature to do just that. In December it issued a second annual report with 10 policy recommendations. Please tell House Speaker Armstead and Senate President Cole that the Study Commission’s recommendations to protect water supplies need considered. Click here to review priority recommendations.

More Tanks Excluded

Last Thursday, the House Energy Committee advanced Aboveground Storage Tank regulations (HB 4104), but not without excluding more tanks from the AST Act. The approved amendments exclude certain tanks associated with the coal industry – those containing blasting agents and those storing treatment chemicals. We are working on amendments to restore the most crucial provisions stripped from the rule. The tank bill’s next stop is the House Judiciary Committee.

Stay tuned to WV Rivers because we'll be calling on you to tell committee members to protect water supplies by:
  • Prohibiting illegal tanks from receiving delivery of chemicals.
  • Considering threats to drinking water in siting new tanks.
Citizen Advocates Needed

Calls and emails are important, but face-to-face interactions with lawmakers are best. Contact us if you can take a couple hours of your day to join us and we can be your guide in the Capitol. Call 304-637-7201 to learn more.

“Elk River Blues” Featured at Clean Water Conference
Photo: Exponent Telegram. Panelists Eric Waggoner, West Virginia Wesleyan College English professor and blogger; Angie Rosser, West Virginia Rivers Coalition director; Kim Bjorgo-Thorne, Wesleyan environmental science professor; Tom Landis, Buckhannon Water Department director; and Robert Rupp, Wesleyan, political science professor, discuss clean water issues.

Last week, WV Wesleyan College and local watershed groups hosted a successful conference highlighting how to get involved for clean water. Mike Youngren’s documentary film about the water crisis, Elk River Blues, was showcased to a full house of students, faculty and community members. Angie Rosser participated on an expert panel discussing current water policy issues. Read more about how clean water advocates are inspiring action in the central part of the state!