8,390 Miles of West Virginia Streams at Risk

It may be summer, but attacks on water aren’t taking a vacation. Last week the Trump Administration began the process to remove critical protections for wetlands and headwater streams through the repeal of the Clean Water Rule, putting drinking water sources for more than half of all West Virginians (54%) at greater risk for pollution.

Enacted in 2015, the Clean Water Rule clarifies which water bodies are protected under the Clean Water Act. Without the Clean Water Rule, 8,390 miles of streams in West Virginia would be put at risk.

Take Action! Speak up for clean water and headwater streams by sending a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt letting him know that you support a strong federal Clean Water Act, and you oppose any action to repeal the Clean Water Rule.

West Virginians for Public Lands Update

Campaign Continues to Grow

Join us in welcoming Megan Hamilton to the WV Rivers team! Megan will be working on the West Virginians for Public Lands campaign as the outreach coordinator. Megan will be the campaign’s main contact with partner organizations and volunteers, she’ll help with grassroots organizing, and will work on a photo documentation project in the Southern Monongahela Headwaters this summer.

Want to help protect public lands? Need some info so your organization can sign on as a West Virginians for Public Lands partner? Contact Megan!

Time Running Out To Speak Up For National Monuments

The public comment period to defend national monuments ends July 10. Interior Secretary Zinke already has recommended drastic changes to Bears Ears National Monument, pictured above, which protects 1.2 stunning acres of recreation lands and cultural resources.

In all, 27 monuments are up for review — meaning their boundaries could be reduced, entirely eliminated, or parts or all of them opened up to oil, gas, mining and private development. This review threatens tens of millions of acres of America’s wild public lands and waters. Make sure the Department of Interior understands where West Virginia stands. Will you raise West Virginia’s voice?

West Virginians overwhelmingly support our national monuments — 87% of West Virginians believe monument designations should be kept in place, according to a recent poll. Now it’s time for our state’s voice to be heard on the national stage. Public lands and waters unite West Virginians across party lines. Please comment today!

Celebrate the Elk River on Labor Day, Sept. 4 2017

Make a SPLASH and join West Virginia Rivers Coalition at Coonskin Park in Charleston, WV for a celebration of the Elk River on Labor Day, September 4, 2017, during our 2nd Annual Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle!

Join a flotilla of kayaks, canoes, rafts or anything else that floats for a celebratory 3.5-mile paddle on the Elk River! A limited number of FREE raft seats, provided by our partner ACE Adventure Resort, will be available. Registration will open soon! After the paddle, you’ll be treated to a good old-fashioned BBQ picnic.

During the afternoon we’ll be hosting a free family-friendly Elk River festival where we’ll display our Elk River photo map, a crowd sourced photo documentary project of the Elk River watershed. Learn how you can get involved submitting photos to the map here.

The Elkspedition Picnic & Paddle is part of the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH event series and benefits the West Virginia Headwaters Waterkeeper, a program of WV Rivers. For more information on the SPLASH Event Series, presented nationally by Toyota, please visit www.splashseries.org.

Two Ways You Can Speak Up for Water

Surface Mining Reclamation Rule – Comment by 7/18

The WVDEP is updating the Surface Mining Reclamation Rule with changes that would weaken compliance with water quality standards and reclamation requirements for coal companies. We’ll get you details next week on how you can comment on the proposed changes during a public hearing at the WVDEP headquarters in Charleston on July 18, at 6pm. Written comments can also be submitted to dep.comments@wv.gov, through July 18.

Public Hearings on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – 7/31 & 8/1

You have an opportunity to comment on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Water Quality Certification, the permit that ensures the project meets the state’s water quality standards. WVDEP is hosting public hearings on the certification in Upshur County on July 31 and in Pocahontas County on August 1. Watch for more info from us next week on how to submit your written comments through the August 4 comment deadline.

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