WV Rivers News: 2 Actions For Water, New WV Rivers Team Member

Two Actions For Water Needed by Monday, 4/15

Over the weekend, you can make your voice heard on two important water policies.

Act Now:

Ohio River Protections: River Needs Uniform Pollution Limits

Last year, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) proposed to discontinue setting pollution control standards for the Ohio River.

During the proposal’s comment period, commissioners heard loud and clear from thousands of people that eliminating uniform pollution limits was unacceptable. Based on the public outcry they revised their proposal. Now, a new proposal is out for public comment through April 15.

The new proposal would continue to set uniform pollution control standards for the Ohio River. But implementation of the standards by the 8 Ohio River states would be voluntary. Learn more here and here.

Contact ORSANCO today, let the commissioners know that you want them to continue to set uniform pollution control standards and that adoption of their standards by states shouldn’t be optional.

Headwater Streams and Wetlands Could Lose Protections

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to redefine an important part of the Clean Water Act, which protects headwater streams and wetlands. The rule the Trump Administration is proposing to redefine is called “waters of the United States.” It determines what waterbodies are eligible for protection under the Clean Water Act. Learn more here.

This rule would hit West Virginia especially hard. The EPA estimates that over 1 million West Virginians depend on drinking water that comes from areas containing streams that would lose protections. Submit comments now on this devastating rollback to the Clean Water Act! Make your voice heard.

Welcome Tanner Haid, WV Rivers’ Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator

The WV Rivers team welcomes Tanner Haid as our Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator. Tanner will coordinate our efforts within the Potomac River watershed.

Tanner has lived in the Potomac Headwaters of West Virginia his entire life and shares, “it’s an honor to have been selected to serve as the Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator. WV Rivers Coalition has a long history of success with conserving exceptional rivers and advocating for safe water across the Mountain State. I look forward to joining this great team and expanding our impact in the Eastern Panhandle.”

Tanner graduated from Shepherd University with a BS in Environmental Studies and brings nearly a decade of community outreach and hands-on conservation experience. In his prior work, Tanner coordinated WV’s largest tree stewardship program, which under his leadership received multiple regional and national awards. He has also conducted stream assessments with the USGS Aquatic Ecology Laboratory and delivered education and outreach programming.

Get Involved: Protect Your Drinking Water

After the 2014 Elk River chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water for a nearly third of the state, water utilities are now required to develop source water protection plans. These plans identify potential contamination sources and develop ways to reduce potential harm. Learn more about the process in ourcitizen’s guide to source water protection plans. Watershed organizations and utilities can learn more about plan development and implementation here.

Source water protection planning depends on people like you getting involved. Your comments and input are critical to the process. West Virginia American Water is collecting comments on their utilities across the state. Comments can be submitted online, in-person, or by mail. Learn more here. Find out about American Water’s source water protection planning process during one of their webinars scheduled for April 23 and 24.

WV Rivers’ guide to source water protection plans helps you understand the source water protection planning process and get involved. 

Earth Day Clean-ups and Events

Earth Day is April 22 and there are plenty of opportunities for you to get out and give back to our planet. Between now and the end of April there are dozens of clean-ups and Earth Day activities scheduled, find events near you here.

Earth Day Events

New River Gorge Dries WV Rivers is partnering with Generation New River Gorge to clean-up a section of road along the New River and Laurel Creek in Fayette County, find out more here.

Elkhorn Creek Join the 22nd Annual Elkhorn Creek Clean-up. Volunteers will pick-up trash within the stream and along its banks. Learn more.

Marsh Fork Tributary of the Coal River Project Tadpole hosts clean-ups every 3rd Saturday of the month, this month’s clean-up falls on Earth Day. Learn more.

Charleston Organized by the city of Charleston. Volunteers will meet at the Farmer’s Market, corner of Beatrice and Washington, to clean-up trash. Learn more.

Harpers Ferry Volunteers will be planting over 120 trees at Sam Michaels Park in Jefferson County. Details here.

Angie Rosser Appointed to Environmental Protection Advisory Council

WV Rivers’ Executive Director, Angie Rosser, was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on the state’s Environmental Protection Advisory Council. The 8-member Council, of which 2 members represent organizations advocating for environmental protection, was established by state law to advise the WVDEP Secretary on program and policy development.

“I look forward to being a voice for the public interest on the Advisory Council,” said Angie. “Starting off, my primary goals will be to improve government transparency and increase public participation in environmental policies and programs that affect the everyday lives of our residents.”

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