ACTION ALERT — WV Human Health Criteria are Up for Comment

by Diana Gooding on May 8, 2020

Enough is Enough! Tell WVDEP: Don’t Allow More Toxins in WV’s Water

From the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, May 5, 2020

Right now, in the midst of a public health crisis, the WVDEP is proposing to allow even more dangerous toxins in our water. Act Now! Tell WVDEP to respect your water and your health, don’t allow more toxins in West Virginia’s water!

WVDEP’s proposal is related to a critical portion of West Virginia’s water quality standards called human health criteria. Human health criteria determines how much of a dangerous toxin can be in our water before it harms our health.

West Virginia’s current human health criteria is based on data that is nearly 40-years old and citizen advocates have long fought for more protective criteria. Sadly, WVDEP’s proposal exposes us to higher amounts of certain toxic chemicals and known carcinogens. It also leaves out updated protections for several toxins the EPA has recommended WV to adopt since 2015.

Enough is enough! Demand WVDEP respect your water and your health, tell them not to allow more toxins in West Virginia’s water.

You Can Act Now, You Should Act Now, You Need to Act Now

It’s hard to believe that WVDEP is even considering such a proposal at a time when public health is a global priority. Rather than heeding the advice of public health experts, like Dr. McCawley, WVDEP’s proposal enables chemical manufacturers to release more toxic pollution into our waters. Speak up for clean water and public health! Tell WVDEP not to allow more toxins in our water!

You can submit comments on the proposed rule through May 19.

West Virginia Rivers Coalition
3501 MacCorkle Ave SE #129
Charleston, West Virginia 25304

304-637-7201 |


See also: New EPA Navigable Waters Rule Challenged in Court

From the Allegheny Blue Ridge Alliance, ABRA Update # 275, May 7, 2020

A group of conservation organizations on April 29 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina, Charleston District, challenging the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which was published as a final rule on April 21. The rule would redefine what wetlands and streams qualify for protection under the Clean Water Act. It is estimated that half of the nation’s wetlands and nearly 1/5th of its streams would lose Clean Water Act protection. The rule, which was jointly issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is to become effective June 22, 2020.

The suit was filed by the Southern Environmental law Center (SELC) on behalf of a coalition of conservation groups that includes the James River Association, an ABRA member. A similar lawsuit challenging the new law was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts by another coalition of conservation organizations that includes the Natural Resources Defense Council, also an ABRA member.

The lawsuit contends that the agencies’ wholesale stripping of protections was an unlawful departure from decades of bipartisan practice. Among other things, the agencies failed to explain or evaluate the impact of their actions on the nation’s water quality or give Americans a meaningful opportunity to comment on the elimination of scientifically based protections for streams and wetlands. The suit further argues that the challenged rule ignores the intent of the Clean Water Act, which a bipartisan Congress passed in 1972 because state-by-state efforts to clean the nation’s waters failed.

A copy of the SELC filing with the court is available here. A SELC press release is here.

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