WV Rivers News: 2019 Legislative Session, New Endangered Species
2019 Water Policy Kick-Off
The 2019 legislative session began on January 9 and runs until March 9. Throughout the session, your voice and actions will make the difference for the health of our water, environment, and state.
WV Rivers is here to help you understand the issues and take action when you can make a difference. Sign up to receive WV Rivers’ Water Policy Updates, a weekly briefing on policy news and actions you can take. Be sure “like” our Facebook page, and follow WV Rivers on Twitter. The legislative session moves fast and our social media is the best way to receive breaking news and real time policy updates.
Each West Virginia legislative sessions brings its own set of challenges, but we can count on polluting industries to attempt to influence legislators to rollback or weaken water protections. This year is no different. Throughout the session, we’ll be prioritizing policies related to water quality standards, stream gage funding, and natural gas infrastructure. Head over to our Water Policy Webpage to learn more about each policy priority and don’t forget to sign-up for weekly water policy updates!
Keeping Drinking Water Safe with Protective Water Quality Standards
Our largest legislative priority– and largest hurdle to overcome – concerns the rules that set how much pollution is allowed in West Virginia’s water. Every three years West Virginia’s water quality standards undergo a revision. It is supposed to be a straight forward and transparent process, involving public input every step of the way. But this year a last minute amendment pushed by industrial polluters bypassed the public comment process and made its way into the rule legislators will vote on. Learn more here.
Next Thursday, January 17, the WVDEP will be hosting a public listening session on water quality standards. WVDEP wants to hear from you on the potential effects of revising human health criteria.
What: WVDEP Water Quality Standards Public Listening Session
When: Tuesday, January 17, 2-4PM
Where: DEP Headquarters, Coopers Rock Conference Room, 601 57th St SE, Charleston WV, 25304
Telling the Truth about Pipelines and Accountability
Candy Darter Added to Endangered Species List
West Virginia has a new endangered species, the colorful candy darter. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the candy darter as an endangered species in December due to loss of habitat and cross-breeding with other darter species. Once found throughout the New, Gauley, Greenbrier and Bluestone Watersheds, there are only a few populations of the fish left. The remaining candy darters are now threatened by sedimentation and pollution.
As part of the USFWS’s endangered species listing is designation of critical habitat. The candy darter’s critical habitat designation is out for public comment; stay tuned to WV Rivers to learn how you can comment.