WV Rivers News: Water Quality Standards Action Alert, Pipeline Update, 30×30 Conservation Campaign

Action Alert: House Judiciary to Consider Water Quality Standards

Legislators will soon be voting on a proposal submitted by WVDEP related to a critical portion of West Virginia’s water quality standards called human health criteria. Human health criteria determines how much of a toxin can be in our water before it harms our health. Let Legislators know that you oppose any weakening of water quality standards!

Sadly, the proposal before the legislature allows for more chemical toxins in our water. Public health experts agree that any additional exposure to the toxic chemicals regulated by human health criteria would pose increased risks to our health.

In a state with the 3rd highest cancer death rate in the nation, do we really want to take that risk?

The water quality standards rule’s first stop as it works its way through the legislature is the House Judiciary Committee. Contact members of the committee today and ask them to make public health their #1 priority and reject any change that would weaken our water quality standards.

Looking for more water policy news? Check out our first edition of WV Rivers Policy News. Each week of the WV legislative session we share a weekly digest on the latest water policy news, analysis and easy actions you can take. Subscribe here.

MVP Fined $300,000 for Water Quality Violations

In early February, the WVDEP hit the Mountain Valley Pipeline with a $303,706 fine for failing to control erosion and impacting water quality. The consent order, cites 29 separate violations from February 2019 to September 2020. These impacts occurred during the time that MVP was prohibited from crossing streams. This leads us to ask, if MVP can’t protect water quality when they are not working directly in streams, how are they going to comply with water quality standards during in-stream construction?

You have the opportunity to comment on WVDEP’s fine of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We’ll be sharing an action alert soon to make submitting your comments easy.

President Biden Sets Ambitious Conservation Goals

A recent executive order signed by President Biden sets a goal of protecting 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030. These conservation measures are identified as critical to slowing the effects of climate change. Read more here.

Land conservation helps to mitigate climate change by storing and removing carbon through a process known as “carbon sequestration.” The more carbon that is stored and removed through natural processes, the less carbon dioxide will reach the atmosphere. This is considered a “natural solution” to climate change. Academic literature suggests natural solutions can provide over one-third of cost-effective climate change mitigation needed by 2030.

WV’s Senators Appointed to Key Leadership Positions

Following the 2020 General Election, both of West Virginia’s Senators have been elevated to important leadership positions within Senate committees that set environmental and energy policy.

Senator Manchin is now the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senator Capito is the new Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

We encourage you to reach out to West Virginia’s Senators to congratulate them on their new leadership roles. Let them know that you support action on policies that ensure clean air and water, and keep West Virginia wild and wonderful!

E-Day Goes Virtual on March 10

Mark your calendars for the West Virginia Environmental Council’s E-Day on March 10 from 6:00 – 7:30PM. While the event is free, registration is required.

During the live event you’ll earn about environmental policies before the legislature; hear from E-Council members, like WV Rivers; and enjoy live music and comradery with fellow advocates.

The event is free to the public, but a $10 donation is suggested to support E-Council’s efforts.

Upcoming Events

February 18: Lecture by Dr. Sandra Steingraber on The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking. Register here.

March 10: Virtual E-Day. Register here.

Make a Gift to Support Our Legislative Priorities

Beyond the normal hurdles faced during the legislative session, the current session poses additional big challenges – like limited opportunities to meet with legislators, and questions about transparency. To rise to the occasion, we’re counting on your donations to help us communicate with decision-makers more effectively. Your tax-deductible gift supports our scientific research and reporting, as well as the tools we use to share that information. Your support can truly make a difference! Consider a gift today to support our clean water advocacy.

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