WV Rivers News: Water Quality Standards Update, Upcoming Events

Help Keep the Focus on Sound Science and Water Protections

Members of the League of Women Voters of WV board presented WV Rivers with a Science Fund donation at their biennial statewide convention. Please join supporters, like LWVWV, by making your donation today.

Many of you have been involved in our efforts to update human health protections in WV’s water quality standards. Because the WV Legislature decided to delay the updates, so that the chemical industry can do their own studies, we need your help to make sure decision-makers hear the science behind protective water quality standards, not just hear baseless claims from industrial polluters! Make a tax-deductible donation to WV Rivers Science Fund to provide decision-makes with the facts. Learn more about the Science Fund here.

We are on our way to raising the money needed to bring forward sound-science that tells us the pollution limits needed to avoid unsafe exposure to toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in our water. So far, with your donations, we’ve been able to hire two scientists to help us gain an in-depth technical understanding of how limits are calculated based on things like cancer risks, body weight and fish/water consumption.

Next, we’ll be attending various public meetings and doing our own analysis of the industry-backed studies. This work is expensive. Chemical manufacturers aren’t sparing any expenses to convince lawmakers to keep the status quo or even weaken our water quality standards. We need to raise $25,000 to provide decision-makers with the facts to make the right choices for our rivers and our health. We’ve already raised $18,500 from donors like you, can you chip in to help us reach our goal? Every dollar helps, donate to WV Rivers Science Fund today.

Public Meeting on Water Quality Standards – May 14

WVDEP is hosting its next public meeting on water quality standards on May 14 at 2pm. If you can’t make it in person, but are interested in listening in you can call in at that time to 1-877-278-2734, and enter participant code 840590. We will certainly be there and will report back on developments – please support this urgently needed work by making a donation here!

Partnerships Help Expand Safe Water Programming in the Eastern Panhandle

Kids learned about pollution prevention at a Water Faire in Harpers Ferry.

WV Rivers leads Safe Water Harpers Ferry as part of our Safe Water for West Virginia programming. Safe Water Harpers Ferry is a collaboration of partners working to restore the Elks Run Watershed and protect the drinking water supply of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar. On May 7, partners came together to discuss recent accomplishments and plan future projects.

In April, partners hosted a Water Faire and planted nearly 200 trees during a community tree planting at Sam Michael’s Park as part of Jefferson County’s Earth Day celebration. Future projects include septic pumping and repairs; as well as riparian tree plantings.

The key to restoring and protecting Elks Run is people! Help make an impact today by contacting WV Rivers Eastern Panhandle Field Coordinator, Tanner Haid, at thaid@wvrivers.org or by calling 304-886-2665.

 Senator Manchin Proposes New Bill to Fund Land and Water Conservation

This spring we shared the good news that Congress permanently reauthorized the Land & Water Conservation Fund. Now, Senator Manchin is working to make sure the program is fully funded. Last month, he introduced a new bipartisan bill that would appropriate $900 million in annual funding to LWCF. Learn more about Senator Manchin’s bill in an editorial by the Wheeling Intelligencer.

LWCF is an important program for West Virginia, to date the state has received $241 million from LWCF for conservation and recreation projects in 54 of our 55 counties. Learn more about LWCF here.

WV Rivers Staff and Board Gather to Reflect

It has been a period of change for WV Rivers. We added two new staff members, with a third joining the team in the coming weeks. Our board has changed too, we’ve recruited new members and said goodbye to others. In early May, our staff and board gathered to reflect on our accomplishments and began planning for the future. We reaffirmed our mission to conserve and restore West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams, and mapped priority areas to focus our work like water quality standards, public lands advocacy, and defending streams from industrial development.

Upcoming Events

May 20-23: American Water Source Water Protection Meetings. 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 public meetings scheduled at various locations across the state between May 20-23.

June 8: March for Minden. Headwaters Defense is holding a “March for Minden,” to draw attention to the threat of PCB contamination in Minden, WV. The march reenacts an action taken by Fayette County residents in 1989 to petition the EPA to address PCB pollution.

June 15: Ohio River Sweep. The Ohio River Sweep is a volunteer, riverbank cleanup that extends the entire length of the Ohio River. Find out how you can get involved here.

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