WV Rivers News: ACP Permit Suspended, Double Your Donation, 2019 Legislature

Election Shows West Virginians Vote for Clean Water

Forty-seven percent of registered WV voters participated in Tuesday’s mid-term elections. This is an improvement from past mid-terms, but we still have a ways to go until we have a democracy where everyone exercises their right to vote.

What does Tuesday’s election mean for our water? This remains to be seen. But we know that environmental concerns are a growing influence. An example is in Jefferson County, where residents have loudly said “no” to a polluting industrial facility and cast their votes accordingly. We saw several legislators that supported the 2017 toxic water bill voted out.

We’re looking forward to working with a new slate of lawmakers. We’ll provide them with science-based facts to help inform their decisions. Ultimately, they are accountable to you! Please stay engaged, sign-up for our water policy updates during the legislative session here.

Court Issues Last Minute Halt to Atlantic Coast Pipeline Stream Crossings

Volunteer water quality monitors at a training in Linwood, WV. 

This week, twenty-five volunteers gathered at the Linwood Library in Pocahontas County. They spent their evening learning about how they can help defend water resources from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. WV Rivers’ staff scientist, Autumn Crowe, along with partners shared tools volunteers can use to monitor pipeline construction and report water quality issues. Learn how you can get involved here.

The meeting in Linwood was timely, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was poised to begin construction this week, but a last minute ruling by a federal court hit the pause button. The 4th Circuit Court’s decision follows on the heels of a similar ruling on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. WVDEP has a special condition that crossings must be completed in 72 hours. The pipeline companies say they cannot comply with this requirement on larger rivers like the Elk, Gauley and Greenbrier Rivers. Because of this discrepancy the WVDEP is proposing to change that 72-hour requirement. We submitted comments on this proposal and are waiting for WVDEP’s response.

Stay tuned! Follow WV Rivers on Facebook for breaking pipeline news and actions you can take to defend our streams.

WVDEP Sends Final Water Quality Standards to 2019 Legislature

If you were one of the nearly 600 people who commented on WVDEP’s proposed revisions to West Virginia’ water quality standards through our action alert, thank you!

WVDEP has responded to the public comments, including WV Rivers’ technical comments, and submitted their final proposed rule to the 2019 legislature. We’ve reviewed WVDEP’s proposal and are concerned about a change to how discharge limits are calculated for pollutants harmful to human health. This calculation depends on average fish consumption rates. WVDEP has chosen to use a fish consumption rate that is less than half of the national average. This would allow higher amounts of harmful pollutants in our water.

The WV Legislature will be considering WVDEP’s proposed revisions to water quality standards during the 2019 legislative session. We’ll need your help to make sure our water quality standards remain strong and protective.

Double Your Donation for Headwater Streams

Thanks to a generous challenge grant from the Keith C. Campbell Foundation for the Environmentdonations to WV Rivers of $250 or more before December 1 will be matched dollar for dollar, donate here. The grant will go toward creating a full-time staff position in the WV Potomac Headwaters region.

This position will enables us to provide technical assistance to watershed groups, advocate for critical federal and state watershed restoration funding, and work with land trusts, water utilities, and watershed groups to involve the public in programs to protect drinking water supplies.

To make sure your donation is matched, click here and select “Match My Gift — Potomac Headwaters Protection”. If you’d prefer to donate by check or over the phone, please call 304-637-7201.

Comment on Proposed Superfund Site by 11/13

Click the image above to watch a short video by the Beckley Register-Herald on Minden’s story. 

From our allies at Headwaters Defense:

Hazardous areas near the community of Minden in Fayette County, WV have been proposed for the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites by the USEPA. The Shaffer Equipment site and sections of Arbuckle Creek are contaminated with toxic PCB’s. If designated as a federal Superfund Site, the polluted areas will be eligible for long-term cleanup by the federal government.

Now, the EPA needs to hear from you! Official designation as a Superfund Site can only happen after a public comment period. Click here to send comments to the EPA recommending areas surrounding Minden be added to the National Priorities List of Superfund Sites. Comments are due November 13, 2018.

The Minden Community Action Team and Headwaters Defense have developed a guide for community members and allies to assist with public comments, view it here.

Shop at AmazonSmile and Support WV Rivers

Support WV Rivers this holiday season when you shop online. When you shop at AmazonSmile a portion of your purchase will be donated WV Rivers! It’s so easy, just click here, shop and support clean water.

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