WV Rivers News: 2018 Water Policy, Pipeline Update, Job Announcement
2018 Water Policy Preview
Wednesday, January 10, was the first day of the 2018 legislative session in West Virginia and here at West Virginia Rivers, we have a full slate of water policy issues we’ll be advocating for throughout the session. We know we can count on you to stay informed and take action when your voice can move water policy forward!
To make sure you have the latest water policy information, monitor our water policy webpage and sign up to receive WV Rivers’ Water Policy Updates, a weekly briefing on policy news and actions you can take.
Water Quality Standards. We oppose weakening water quality standards. These standards control pollution in order to protect rivers and streams’ designated uses such as drinking water, aquatic life and recreation. Any changes to WV’s water quality standards will be considered through the required triennial review process that begins later this year. The Legislature should not subvert this process by prematurely considering legislation this session.
Drinking Water Protection. We support implementation of the recommendations of the WV Public Water System Supply Study Commission. These include required notice to downstream water utilities of violations of upstream permitted facilities and no further stripping away of the authority of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. Funding for source water protection programs through the Bureau of Public Health should be maintained.
Stream Gage Funding. We support increased and stabilized funding for stream gages, as recommended by the WV Water Gaging Council. The deadly floods of 2016 show the importance of having a strong network of stream gages to provide an enhanced statewide flood warning system.
Natural Gas Infrastructure. We support implementation of recommendations from the studies mandated by the Horizontal Well Control Act to protect water supplies and public health. These include increased monitoring and impact controls for residences, source water protection areas, and other sensitive areas.
Preserve our Parks. We support current restrictions on logging in our state parks. Mature forests in our state parks add recreational value, as well as provide benefits to water quality and wildlife habitat.
Join the WV Rivers Team: Public Lands Campaign Coordinator
Help protect special places, like the Cherry River in the Monongahela National Forest, as the Public Lands Campaign Coordinator.
West Virginia Rivers is looking to add a Public Lands Campaign Coordinator to our team! The WV Rivers Public Lands Campaign Coordinator will be responsible for the overall execution and coordination of West Virginians for Public Lands — an alliance of organizations, businesses and individuals committed to protecting and enhancing the benefits of public lands to West Virginians.
The Public Lands Campaign Coordinator is a 40 hours/week, one-year position, with the potential for extension. Persons with previous team leadership and/or campaign management experience are encouraged to apply. Review the full job description here.
Send cover letter, resume and professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Public Lands Coordinator” in the subject line by January 25.
Pipeline Update: News and Actions
2018 is shaping up to be an intense year for natural gas pipelines. Right now, WV Rivers is monitoring the environmental permitting and public comment process for 4 pipelines, all of which could be constructed this year. As construction begins, our focus will shift from scrutinizing the permitting process to active water quality monitoring and watchdogging of permit compliance. Already, we’re using strict monitoring requirements to hold developers accountable. Just last month, we secured rigorous monitoring requirements for a fracking waste landfill.
More than ever, volunteer water quality monitors will be crucial for stream protection. Volunteer monitors are on the front lines and are often the first to detect pollution. Get involved! Sign up to learn about upcoming volunteer water quality monitoring opportunities.
Below, you’ll find the latest news and status updates on 4 pipelines, including an opportunity to comment on the Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project.
Mountain Valley Pipeline. The MVP is a 300-mile, 42-inch pipeline. It has been approved by both the WVDEP and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This week, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, on behalf of WV Rivers and partners, filed an appeal of FERC’s decision in a federal court. Also filed was a motion to stay the start of MVP construction. Learn more here and here.
Mountaineer Gas Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project. The Eastern Panhandle Pipeline is a 23-mile, 10-inch pipeline. Through January 19 the WVDEP is accepting public comments on the stormwater and sediment control permit for the pipeline. Read our fact sheet on the project’s stormwater permit and submit your comments to WVDEP here.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ACP is a 600-mile, 42-inch pipeline. It is awaiting WVDEP’s approval of its stormwater permit and it has received one of two required federal permits.
Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. The MXP is a 170-mile, 36-inch pipeline. It is awaiting WVDEP’s approval of its stormwater permit. It has received one of two required federal permits.