January 11, 2018

The Honorable Mitch Carmichael, President, West Virginia Senate

The Honorable Tim Armstead, Speaker, WV House of Delegates

Members of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance

RE: Public Water System Supply Study Commission Report and Recommendations

Following the water crisis of 2014, the unanimous passage of SB373 established the Public Water System Supply Study Commission to provide annual recommendations to the Legislature to protect the state’s drinking water supplies. The Commission’s fourth report was submitted to you on December 15, 2017 by the Commission’s Chair and State Health Officer, Dr. Rahul Gupta.

Following the directive of the Legislature, the Commission has met 23 times to craft recommendations for your consideration. The recommendations, which are summarized in Appendix F of the report, cover important topics that range from improving the state Spill Reporting Hotline to notifying downstream public water systems of threats to drinking water quality. Many would require legislative approval to enact.

As 20 undersigned organizations united in our concerns about the safety and security of West Virginian’s public drinking water supplies, we request that you give the report and its recommendations ample consideration. We urge you to refer it to appropriate committees for presentation of the report and discussion of legislation to implement its recommendations.

In the interest of advancing public policy protective of public health, we feel strongly that the work put into this report by a diverse array of experts deserves your attention and time on the appropriate committees’ agendas.

Thank you for consideration of this request.

Contact: Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Coalition / arosser@wvrivers.org / 304-437-1274

ALSO: Ellen Allen, Covenant House; Jeff Allen, WV Council of Churches; Julie Archer, WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization; Ted Boettner, WV Center on Budget and Policy; Liz Brunello, American Friends Service Committee; Jeni Burns, WV Sustainable Business Council; Chad Cordell, Kanawha Forest Coalition; Rose Edington & Robin Blakeman, WV Interfaith Power & Light; Karan Ireland, WV Environmental Council; Chris Kimes, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and Our Children, Our Future Campaign; Cathy Kunkel, Advocates for a Safe Water System; Pam Nixon, People Concerned About Chemical Safety; Margaret Chapman Pomponio, WV FREE; Justin Raines, WV Chapter of the Sierra Club; Cindy Rank, WV Highlands Conservancy; Jonathan Rosenbaum, WV League of Women Voters; Natalie Thompson, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; MJ Watts, HOPE Community Development Corporation, Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action Group.


Five or six workers clean up after Rover pipeline

New spills from Rover Pipeline construction are problem in Ohio

From an Article by Scott DiSavino, Reuters News Service, January 12, 2018

(Reuters) – Ohio environmental regulators on Friday told federal energy regulators the state has significant concerns about the potential for a spill from Energy Transfer Partners LP’s drilling under a river as the company works on the Rover natural gas pipeline.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said in a filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it learned this week that 148,000 gallons of drilling fluid were “lost down the hole” that ETP is drilling under the Tuscarawas River in Stark County, Ohio.

That is the same site as a spill last April of 2 million gallons of mostly clay and water used to lubricate drilling blades, which led FERC to temporarily ban ETP from new horizontal drilling.

The state has “significant concerns for the potential of similar releases as occurred at this location in April,” it said in the filing. “We are deeply concerned this second drill under the Tuscarawas River is heading towards a similar outcome which resulted in the previous release to the environment.”

The state EPA said in its filing the company has not discovered any new spills in the area. Ohio, which asked FERC to ban all of ETP’s horizontal directional drilling in November, said in its filing on Friday it wants more information on the Tuscarawas drilling.

FERC in December allowed ETP to complete all horizontal drills on the Rover project, including those in Ohio. Pipeline companies use horizontal directional drilling to cross under large obstacles like highways and rivers.

Once finished, the $4.2 billion Rover pipeline will carry up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas per day from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to the U.S. Midwest and Ontario in Canada. One billion cubic feet per day of gas can supply about five million U.S. homes.

ETP said in December it expected to finish Rover by the end of the first quarter. About 0.9 bcfd of gas was already flowing on the completed portions of the pipeline, according to Reuters data.

Major gas producers that have signed up to use Rover include units of privately held Ascent Resources LLC, Antero Resources Corp, Range Resources Corp, Southwestern Energy Co, Eclipse Resources Corp and EQT Corp.

Rover is in WV Counties Doddridge, Tyler, etc.


“Costliest Disaster Year Ever 2017″ — Living on Earth (PRI)

January 15, 2018

2017 — The Costliest Disaster Year Ever HOST: Steve Curwood, Public Radio International, Living on Earth. DATE: January 12, 2018, WEB-SITE: www.loe.org CURWOOD: From PRI, and the Stanley Studios at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, this is Living on Earth. I’m Steve Curwood. NOAA – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – tells us America [...]

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Sen. Tim Kaine Calls for FERC to Rehear MVP and ACP Pipelines

January 14, 2018

SEN. KAINE CALLS FOR FERC REHEARING ON MOUNTAIN VALLEY AND ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINES From an Article by Joseph Abbate, Blue Virginia, January 5, 2018 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that it grant a rehearing request on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) [...]

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US Federal Court Asked to Stop MVP Pipeline in VA & WV

January 13, 2018

Environmental groups try to halt Mountain Valley Pipeline in federal appeals court From an Article by Brad McElhinny in WV Metro-News, January 09, 2018 CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Environmental groups have filed a federal appeal to try to stop construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The groups filed a motion asking for a stay of the [...]

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Clean Power Plan comment period is ending soon at US EPA

January 12, 2018

Morgantown League of Women Voters: RE: CPP Comments Hello, and Happy New Year everyone. Barbara Brown (LWVMM Board Sec.) and I attended the public meeting in Charleston on the proposal to rescind the Clean Power Plan. It was very interesting and informative and we were surprised at the number of people who spoke in support [...]

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Electricity Supply — PJM System Meets Challenge of Cold Snap

January 11, 2018

Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) cites improvements since “Polar Vortex” From PJM Interconnection, January 09, 2018 VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The cold weather from Dec. 27, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018, brought three of PJM Interconnection’s top 10 highest winter peak demands for electricity. The grid operator credits planning and lessons learned [...]

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WVU – IWSS: The Human Dimensions of Water

January 10, 2018

“The human dimensions of water” by Prof. Martina Caretta Source: WVU, Institute of Water Security & Science, October 30, 2017 Water is the driving force of all nature, but how do people react when an area begins to run out of water? Martina Angela Caretta, assistant professor of geography at West Virginia University, seeks to [...]

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FERC Was Right to Reject DOE Proposal to Bail Out Coal Plants

January 9, 2018

Statement by Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst, Union of Concerned Scientists. From the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), Press Release, January 8, 2018 WASHINGTON – The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously rejected the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposal to force energy markets to provide failing coal-fired power plants and nuclear plants guaranteed profits—at [...]

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Science Brief #2. Why We Are Having Heavy Rains & Hurricanes!

January 8, 2018

Science Brief #2. Why the heavy rains and hurricanes? Essay by S. Tom Bond, Resident Farmer & Retired Chemistry Professor, Jane Lew, Lewis County, WV The U. S. has experienced four hurricane disasters just this past year: Harvey in Texas and Louisiana in August; Irma, a particularly intense hurricane with winds of 185 miles an [...]

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