Water Policy News: Sixth Update of the 2022 Session
Easy Action for Clean Water
Each week of the legislative session, we share an easy action for clean water, it only takes a few minutes and it is the most urgent call to action.
Easy Action: Share this blog post with your friends and family in West Virginia!
Countdown to the End of the 2022 Legislative Session
The 2022 Legislative Session will close on March 12 – that’s just 9 days away! Many of the bills we’ve been tracking have “died” or will not advance this session.
We are left with just three bills to organize around! This is an all hands on deck moment – we need everyone making calls and emails to their Legislators. Already emailed? Make a call. Already called? Forward this message on to your friends and family in West Virginia.
Bill to Allow Off Road Vehicles and Casinos on State Public Lands Advances
A bill, HB 4408, is moving through the Legislature that expands and extends private leasing in all state parks and forests. Read our fact sheet.
What does this mean?
Private developers could build casinos, racetracks, amusement parks, ATV trails or similar developments on our state’s public lands.
These developments would forever change the nature of our cherished state public lands.
Right now, West Virginia has 35 state parks and 9 state forests. Private leasing is limited to 6 state parks (Chief Logan, Beech Fork, Tomlinson Run, Stonewall Jackson, Lost River, and Canaan Valley Resort).
HB 4408 expands private leasing to ALL state parks and forests and the lease terms could be 50 years. That’s five times more than the current 10-year initial lease term. Furthermore, there are no provisions for assessing the economic and environmental impacts of these new 50 year projects.
HB 4408 has passed out of the House of Delegates and is now in the Senate Finance Committee. Contact your Senators today!
Inspections Keep Drinking Water Safe
Last week, we shared that HB 2598, the bill that would relax inspection requirements for certain oil and gas tanks located closest to our public drinking water intakes, had passed the House of Delegates and is now in the Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee. Read our updated fact sheet on HB 2598.
This bill is the latest attempt to rollback water protections under the Aboveground Storage Tank Act. We’ve successfully fended off similar legislation in 2017, 2020, and 2021. We can do it again if you get involved! Please email and call your Senators today! Let them know that inspections keep our water safe.
WVDEP Oil & Gas Inspector Funding Bill Stuck in House Committee
Tracking Water Policy: Bills We’re Watching
To keep up-to-date on all of our policy priorities, fact sheets and easy actions head over to our water policy webpage, and make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter for breaking news.
- SB 279 – the Water Quality Standards Rule. Completed legislation. Read more in the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
- SB 4 – Repealing ban on construction of nuclear power plants. Completed legislation.
- HB 2598 – Altering the definition of an above ground storage tank. Passed the House. To the Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee.
- SB 480 – Relating to DEP Office of Oil and Gas. Passed the Senate. In the House Finance Committee.
- HB 4408 – Relating to contracts for construction of recreational facilities in state parks and forests. Passed House in Senate Finance Committee.
- SB 481 – Relating to Adopt-A-Stream Program. Passed the Senate; to House Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- SB 1 – Creating Mining Mutual Insurance Company. Passed the Senate. In the House Energy and Manufacturing Committee.
- HB 4003 – Relating generally to commercial benefit of substances removed from waters of the state by the treatment of mine drainage. Passed the House. In the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee.
- HB 4758 – Relating to a database to track reclamation liabilities in the WVDEP special reclamation program. Passed the House. in the Senate Industry and Mining Committe.
- HB 4040 – Creating the WV Energy Efficiency Jobs Creation Act.
- HB 2812 – Local Energy Efficiency Partnership Act.
- HB 2287 – Providing for solar energy production on formerly mined land.
- HB 2725 – Relating to funding for the DEP Office of Oil and Gas.
- HB 4039 – Allowing increased civil administrative penalties to be promulgated by legislative rules of by the Department of Environmental Protection.
- HB 4055 – Clean Drinking Water Act of 2022.
- HJR 12 – Natural Resources and the Public Estate Amendment.
- HB 2980 – Amend Groundwater Protection Act to cover Karst Terrain.