WV Water Policy News: Senate Committees to Vote on Water Quality Standards

First Week of WV Legislative Session Easy Action for Clean Water

Each week of the legislative session, we’ll share digest of the latest water policy news and actions you can take.

At the top of each digest, you’ll find the easy action of the week, it only takes a few minutes and it is the most urgent call to action. This week, we’re asking you to contact members of the WV Senate and ask them to protect public health by adopting all of the EPA-recommended human health criteria updates.

Easy Action: Click here to send a letter.

Senate Committees Expected to Vote Water Quality Standards Soon

In the coming days, the Senate Energy, Industry & Mining and Senate Judiciary Committees are expected to vote on revisions to West Virginia’s water quality standards – the rules that protect our water. These committees have the opportunity to listen to citizens of West Virginia and update WV’s water quality standards with EPA-recommended human health protections.

It is critical that members of these committees hear from you! Ask them to protect public health and adopt all of the EPA-recommended human health criteria updates. Send a letter here.

Why is this so important?

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.

The amended rule removes updates to the portion of our water quality standards that set limits on the toxins most harmful to human health. These limits, known as human health criteria, are currently based on science conducted prior to 1985. In 2015, EPA recommended that West Virginia update its human health criteria to reflect more recent science. WVDEP proposed some of these updates in their originally proposed revision, but a legislative committee approved an amendment to remove them at the request of the WV Manufacturers Association. View our fact sheet on the amendment and how it puts our health at risk here.

The legislature has the opportunity to restore these human health protections, but they need to hear from you! Send a letter asking members of the WV Senate to adopt all of the EPA-recommended human health criteria updates.

WVDEP to Hold Listening Session on Water Quality Standards

Leading up to the Senate vote, this Thursday, January 17, the WVDEP will host a public listening session on water quality standards. WVDEP wants to hear from you on the potential effects of revising human health criteria. View our fact sheet on water quality standards for concerns to share with WVDEP.

What: WVDEP Water Quality Standards Public Listening Session

When: Thursday, January 17, 2-4PM

Where: DEP Headquarters, Coopers Rock Conference Room, 601 57th St SE, Charleston WV, 25304

Can’t make the meeting? WVDEP has provided a phone number you can call to listen to the meeting.

Telephone #: 877-278-2734

Participant Code: 840590

Upcoming Events

January 15: Join the WV Environmental Council for their Legislative Kickoff Blast. Learn about their legislative priorities and have fun! We work closely with the E-Council lobby team to fight hard for you at the Capitol, so come on out to wish them well!

The evening will have music, food, and fun! Come out and listen to the dulcet tones of Andy Park, Karen Allen, That High Country Revival, and Mike Pushkin!

February 7: Save the date for E-Day at the Capitol.

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