Citizen Advocates Rally for Clean Water and a Healthy Environment
On Tuesday, January 28, citizen advocates from all corners of West Virginia gathered at the Capitol building in Charleston for E-Day at the Legislature, hosted by the WV Environmental Council.
During the morning floor session in the House of Delegates, Delegate Mike Pushkin introduced a petition collected by WV Rivers containing the names of the 760 individuals who have emailed members of the House Energy Committee opposing HB4079, the oil & gas storage tank rollback bill. These names are now part of the official record standing in opposition of attempts to weaken water protections! Have you taken action yet? Oppose HB4079 here.
Delegate Mike Pushkin (D – Kanawha) introduces a petition oppposing HB4079 during the floor session in the House of Delegates.
Following the introduction of the HB4079 petition, a rally was held outside of the Senate Chamber featuring key note speaker, Tracy Danzey. Tracy is a powerful advocate from Parkersburg, WV where she survived DuPont Chemical’s dumping of C-8, a dangerous toxin, into her drinking water supplies. Now, she suffers from a dysfunctional thyroid and has undergone the amputation of her right hip and leg due to cancer.
Today, Tracy lives in the Eastern Panhandle of WV where she is using her experiences to combat the proposed Rockwool industrial facility. Just this past year Tracy walked across Denmark, where Rockwool is based, to honor victims of Rockwool’s pollution and protest Rockwool’s proposed construction along the banks of the Potomac River in Jefferson County. Read an op-ed by Tracy in the Charleston Gazette-Mail here.
C-8, the toxin Tracy was exposed to through Parkersburg’s water, belongs to a class of chemical’s known as polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Known as “forever chemicals” they accumulate in the environment and a primary source of exposure is through drinking water.
Our legislature has the opportunity to do something about PFAS this session. Delegate Evan Hansen has introduced a new bill called the Clean Drinking Water Act of 2020 which tackles PFAS pollution by identifying sources of contamination and establishing set safe limits on the amount of PFAS chemicals allowed in our water supplies.
Following the rally, over two dozen citizen advocates visited the office of Delegate Jordan Hill to request the committee he chairs, House Health and Human Resources, put the Clean Drinking Water Act on the committee’s agenda.
Citizen advocates prepare to ask Delegate Hill to add the Clean Drinking Water Act to the Health and Human Resources Committee agenda.
There are still five week’s left in the 2020 legislative session, and there is a lot of work to do! If you haven’t already, sign-up to receive weekly water policy updates for the latest news and actions you can take to keep our water safe!