WV Rivers News: Comment on Sewage Permit, Trout Management Plan, Make Plans to VOTE

Make a Plan and VOTE in the 2020 General Election

Election Day, Tuesday November 3, will be here before you know it and it’s never too early to start planning how you’ll vote.

Whether you plan to vote by mail or in person, it’s important that you know your rights, make a plan, and are informed on the issues!

Below are important dates and links for West Virginia residents. Don’t live in WV? Find information for your state at Vote411.org.

Visit the Secretary of State’s Go Vote WV website to learn more about voting in West Virginia.

Comment on Small Sewage Disposal Systems Permit by 9/14

Through Monday, September 14, you can submit comments to WVDEP on the reissuance of a permit required for small sewage disposal systems. This is blanket permit that regulates the discharge from approximately 775 sewage treatment facilities throughout the state. Learn more and submit your comments.

Through the reissuance of this permit, WVDEP has the opportunity to strengthen stream protections by limiting discharge of fecal bacteria. Elevated bacteria levels are one of the leading causes of pollution in our rivers and streams.

Approximately 40% of the stream segments listed as impaired are on that list because of fecal bacteria. This is your opportunity to urge WVDEP to strengthen this permit to protect our streams from sewage.

Climate Update: Congressional Committees Release Plans for Climate Policy and Free Climate Webinar on 10/22

Folks with an eye on climate policy have long awaited Congressional select committee plans on climate change.

In June, the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released its plan. The Climate Crisis Action Plan calls for net zero emissions by 2050, the same benchmark set by the United Nations.

The House plan, prioritizes a number of policies related to key climate related topics in West Virginia such as natural climate solutionspublic lands and waters, and flood risk management. The full report can be found here.

Then, in August, the Senate Democrats’ Climate Committee followed suit and released a their own climate crisis report. Like the House report, it also calls for 100% global net zero emissions by 2050 and prioritizes natural climate solutions. Both reports focus on economic development and recommend a plan to help disadvantaged communities.

Want to take a deeper dive into understanding the climate crisis? Join a free webinar on October 22 co-sponsored by WV Rivers and the West Virginia Center on Climate Change titled, What Do We Tell The Kids and What Are They Telling Us? – Generational Perspectives and the Climate Crisis. WV Rivers’ own Dr. Sarah Cross will be facilitating discussion after the presentation. Learn more and register.

Stakeholders Meet to Discuss WV Trout Management Plan

WV Rivers is honored to represent our members on a stakeholder advisory committee for the state’s trout management plan, which is in development by the WV Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR). The plan will provide a framework to conserve and manage both wild and native trout. In an effort to make the process inclusive and transparent, WVDNR has incorporated the public’s input into the plan through the stakeholder advisory committee. Read more about the process.

On 9/8, staff scientist Autumn Crowe attended a stakeholder meeting where attendees began drafting the plan, covering topic like: ecological health and risks; habitat; diversifying and enhancing access; diversification of stocked trout fishing opportunities; enhancing native and wild trout fisheries; education; and funding, investment and capacity.

If you have any concerns you would like Autumn to bring to the next Committee meeting, please contact her at acrowe@wvrivers.org.

Ohio River Summit September 30 – October 2

One day, we want to see the the Ohio River join the likes of the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes and have a federally-funded restoration plan to improve water quality, restore ecosystems and develop community resiliency throughout the watershed.

We are supporting our friends at the National Wildlife Federation to lead the development of an ecosystem restoration plan that will eventually provide the blueprint for such an initiative.

But first, stakeholders throughout the Ohio basin need to join together to chart a vision for the future of the river and the communities who depend on it.

The Ohio River Summit, September 30 – October 2, provides some opportunities to begin this important process. On Friday, Oct. 2 from 10:00am – noon, the NWF will be hosting a free virtual interactive discussion about the proposed ecosystem restoration plan. Learn more and register.

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