WV Rivers News: Water Policy Confusion, New WV Rivers Website, Public Lands, Protecting Drinking Water
Water Policy Out of Special Session
The mess legislators left our water quality standards in after the 2017 session continues to cause issues for the state. The problems started with the passage of HB 2506, the Toxic Water Bill, which changed the way pollution discharge limits are calculated, allowing more toxins to be released into our water. In the last days of the session a second bill designed to weaken water protections, SB 687, the Coal Bill, was fast-tracked through the legislature amending the same section of code as HB 2506. This left the two bills in conflict; both cannot be implemented. Read more here.
Some members of the legislature want to fix their mess during the special legislative session called by Governor Justice to deal with our budget crisis. Early this week, WV Rivers and thirteen other organizations asked the Governor to limit the special session to only the budget crisis, because our water and our budget deserve the legislature’s full attention. This editorial in the Charleston Gazette-Mail agrees. Governor Justice also seems to agree that the budget is the sole priority for the Legislature, his agenda for the special session doesn’t include water policy. Read more here.
Safe Water for WV Program Reaching New Communities
Last week, we held a public forum in Marlinton to explore partnerships which achieve the common goals. Thanks to grant awards from WV Department of Environmental Protection and WV Bureau of Public Health, we will be able to work in four additional communities to protect their local water supplies. Check out our website to learn more about our Safe Water for WV Program.
Explore Your Public Lands with Fellow WV Rivers Supporters – May 20-21
On Sunday, join one of four guided field trips exploring the forest. Field trips include: a fly fishing clinic on the Elk River, biking along the Williams River, exploring the Cranberry Glades, and a hiking excursion featuring some of the southern Mon’s most iconic trails.
Learn more about the Best of Birthplace of Rivers Weekend here.
Adult registration is just $20 for the weekend, kids under 15 are $5. Registration includes all programming, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch. Don’t wait; register soon, space is limited!
WV Rivers’ Executive Director Receives National Award
West Virginians Unite To Defend Public Lands
The coalition of groups that formed to advocate Birthplace of Rivers National Monument has expanded to address Congressional and administrative attacks on federal public lands. “West Virginians for Public Lands” consists of WV organizations speaking with a united voice against proposals that could impact the Monongahela National Forest, the Gauley and New rivers, and all of our state’s public lands.
A statewide poll released by WV Rivers and National Wildlife Federation shows West Virginia’s deep support for public lands across the political spectrum. This welcome news comes against a backdrop of a Senate bill to gut the Antiquities Act, proposals to sell off or give away federal lands, and greatly alter the public lands system — all opposed by WV voters, according to the poll. The Birthplace e-news is now the WV for Public Lands e-news. So if you have not already signed up to stay informed, you can do it here.
WV Rivers in the News
Environmentalists Urge Justice to Limit Budget Session
Gazette editorial: Legislative flub protects streams; leave it that way
Water pollution changes lost when coal bill passed
Possible Public-Lands Rollback Sparks Suspicion in WV
WV Rivers Coalition’s Angie Rosser named River Hero
Marlinton Mayor’s Corner
Marilyn Howells: Southwest WV is a sacrifice zone; comment deadline today
Resistance to Pipelines Across the East
West Virginia Finalizes Bill That Could Increase Water Pollution
Marijuana, Water Bills Approved by West Virginia Legislature
Law firm disputes W.Va. water quality permit for pipeline
Environment groups criticize coal, gas legislation
Critics: WV Water Legislation Leaves Out Voice of People
Environmental groups urge changes to coal bill
Angie Rosser: Why coal industry doesn’t want WV to monitor health of bugs in streams
April Pierson-Keating: An environment that promotes more cancer not what WV needs