WV Rivers News: 2022 Water Policy; MVP Update; We’re Hiring

2022 Legislative Session Water Policy Priorities

It’s that time of year again when the West Virginia Legislature convenes in Charleston to debate policy and pass laws. The 2022 session began on Wednesday, January 12 and will run through March 12.

This year we’ve identified four policy priority areas we know will be up for a vote this session. Advancing these clean water policies is a team effort and we’re counting on you to get involved!

Each week during the legislative session we send out emails that include the latest water policy news, analysis and urgent calls to action. We’ve heard from Legislators that the messages they receive through our action alerts make a difference! If you haven’t already, sign-up for WV Rivers Policy News.

Already a Policy News subscriber? Please update your subscription to opt-in to text message action alerts related to the legislative session. Thanks to donations from WV Rivers supporters we were able to upgrade our digital advocacy tool to send urgent calls to action via text message. We promise to only message you on the most important and time critical actions alerts. Update your subscription to opt-in to text messages.

Your contact information is confidential. We will never share, or sell, your email, phone number or other personal information.

Agency Decision on Mountain Valley Pipeline Stream Crossing Permit

On December 30 the WVDEP issued their approval of Mountain Valley Pipelines stream crossing permit.

In responding to our comments on the stream crossing authorization, known as a 401 Certificate, WVDEP did not adequately address our concerns related to water quality impacts. That’s why on January 5 we joined a petition represented by Appalachian Mountain Advocates requesting the 4th Circuit Court review the WVDEP’s approval.

Additionally, we requested a temporary halt on construction until the court rules on our petition. We’ll keep you up to date as the legal challenges progress.

Watch our video on why headwater streams and pipelines don’t mix.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve 1-Year Anniversary

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve just marked its 1-year anniversary. In recognition of the milestone, WV Rivers and Adventures on the Gorge co-hosted a digital panel discussion on the history of the park and possible future developments.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito along with representatives from the National Park Service; outdoor industry leaders; state and regional tourism and economic development experts; and community groups supporting sustainable use of the natural resources throughout the New River Gorge shared remarks. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

Meet WV Rivers Public Lands Campaign Coordinator

Join WV Rivers in extending a warm welcome to Mike Jones, WV Rivers Public Lands Campaign Coordinator. Based in Monongalia County, Mike is a West Virginian “by choice” having fallen in love with the beauty of the state and its rivers and public lands. He will be coordinating the West Virginians for Public Lands Alliance and spearheading WV Rivers public lands advocacy. Mike formerly practiced law; has a Master’s degree from West Virginia University; and is a Ph.D. candidate at WVU writing his dissertation on environmental policy.

Mike shared, “I am so excited to be working with WV Rivers as the Public Lands Campaign Coordinator. It is truly my dream job. I have hiked numerous state parks and in the Mon National Forest – and my goal is to visit every public land in West Virginia. I know so many people are already active in these important projects. I would love to hear from you. Send me an email so we can discuss and plan moving forward together to protect our rivers and public lands – and also tell me your favorite public land in WV!”

Staffing Update and Job Announcement

Autumn Crowe, who served as our Staff Scientist and Interim Program Director has been selected to take on the role of full-time Program Director. Congratulations, Autumn!

Autumn shares, “I am absolutely thrilled to take on a leadership role with WV Rivers to help advance our clean water mission. Since joining the WV Rivers staff in 2015, I’ve witnessed the positive impacts WV Rivers’ work has on water and communities. As Program Director, I am committed to developing programs and campaigns that embody our values and mission of clean, safe West Virginia water for all.”

Now, we’re seeking motivated candidates for the Staff Scientist position. Read the full job description.

The Staff Scientist provides technical support and overall coordination for our clean water projects and campaigns. These include aspects of our Safe Water for WV program, Citizen Oversight and Regulatory Advisory program, and regional watershed restoration campaigns for the Ohio River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. WV Rivers is a remote work place; WV residency is required. Learn more about the position’s salary range and competitive benefits here.

Easy, New Way to Support Clean Water in West Virginia

Did you know your grocery shopping can support WV Rivers? If you live in Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic region you can link your Kroger Plus Card to their Community Rewards program. Link your account. Search for WV Rivers Coalition or organization number WH937.

WV Rivers will receive a small percentage of your spending and all you have to do is use your Kroger Plus Card or associated phone number every time you shop. If you have any questions, contact Chett Pritchett, Development Officer, at cpritchett@wvrivers.org. Looking for more easy ways to donate? We’ve got your covered.

Easy, New Way to Support Clean Water in West Virginia

Towards the end of 2021 WV Rivers supporters were challenged by two anonymous donors to raise a total of $10,000 to be matched. We are so excited to share that you knocked that goal out of the park!

The first match campaign on Giving Tuesday raised $14,860! The second match was dependent on gifts from new members and gift memberships. Once again you blew the challenge out of the water by raising $8,548!

On top of your donations, we receive $10,000 from our anonymous donors! All of these funds will go directly to WV Rivers clean water programming. Thank you!

Free Webinar: Feasibility of Advanced Nuclear in West Virginia

A pair of bills have been introduced to the WV Legislature on advanced nuclear. Learn what advanced nuclear is and how it might impact West Virginia during an online panel discussion on Tuesday, January 18 at 6:00pm. There will be an opportunity for audience questions. Register here.

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