Riverside's Rivers Coalition is talking to Chairperson Charles Trump (R-Morgan County) Chairman of the Seanad from the deck steel in favor of the industry in the recent debate on a water quality bill passed by the Western Senate last week.
The bill – introduced as SB 167, is now included in SB 163 – Seanad passed last week 20 to 12.
The original bill came to the Seanad Judicial Committee with unanimous support to include 60 Environmental Protection Department updates in relation to human health criteria in water quality standards.
"When the bill came to your committee, you asked for a stakeholder meeting in which your staff instructed me to limit public participation – an application made to us," wrote Angie Rosser of the Western Virginia Rivers Alliance in a letter to Trump dated February 5, 2019.
The letter was written on behalf of the Rivers Rivers West Virginia Alliance and 26 other environmental groups.
"However, that meeting ended on January 28, including in the country of thirty or more industrial representatives," the groups wrote. "We are grateful for your excuse that it was not the intention to make the meeting dynamic in the way it was successful, and our commitment was to give us the opportunity to give scientific experts when the committee of the bill. "
"It came out that we did not have the opportunity to give us this opportunity. As a result, you and your committee have not taken evidence of sworn by public health experts or the Environmental Protection Department."
"The declarations made by industry representatives at the stakeholder meeting outside the record were not available in public, sworn," the groups wrote. "Since the statements made by just a few industrial representatives from the Kanawha Valley that standards emerge from the committee were based on the best science available to protect drinking water sources throughout the whole state, the The legislation responsible for documenting these demands on the program and sworn. We hope this will happen as the rule is in the House of Delegates. "
"We only had a few hours notice before the bill was held in your committee, and your staff informed you that a matter of concern or evidence would only be received in writing, and after your committee already voted on a representative center the bill. Our concern about this process is to inform all committee members that transparency and public debate have the opportunity to question scientific experts as well as representatives from industries that have an impact of them, sworn, before the committee vote. "
"Our position on the policy is consistent – we support updating the protection of human health in accordance with the best available science. The representative of a committee who has left your committee maintains our state-of-the-art water quality standards The amount of toxins and chemicals causing cancer in the sources of drinking water is a science-based strain restricted before 1985. "
"The Environmental Protection Department and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that West Virginia maintain its standards to successfully protect human health based on better, more up-to-date science now available. Although the proposed updates were released from the EPA in 2015, the Trump Administration indicated that it is behind those recommendations. "
"In July 2018, the EPA Trump wrote a letter to WVDEP who said: & # 39;EPA is delighted that West Virginia updates its current human health criteria to be consistent with the EPA's recommendations, as well as adding some criteria. & # 39; "
"The July 2018 letter from the EPA continued to propose that West Virginia thinks that 33 additional updates will be taken."
"The EPA has informed us that these updates have been at least the third state – Texas, Montana and Washington – and the applications for the approval of the EPA from neighboring states to Pennsylvania and Virginia to their standards to be updated soon. "
"Delaying activity on these updates, that is the effect of the committee's representative, Western Western residents are at risk. The development of these proposed updates has evolved from years of scientific study and analysis. We now accept its adoption, and as new science comes, it supports the DEP and the Legislation to review our water quality standards and further update to keep our waters safe for the use of the community. "
"Finally, it is important to acknowledge the hundreds of hours spent by DEP to facilitate the analysis of science and an extensive public traffic process. We participated and gave input to every step of the way. Approximately 600 individual citizens commented in support of the updates on the human health criteria. But it was not until the rule of Legislation found that the WV Makers Association indicated they wanted to start their own commissioned study. The WVMA was on the informed, over a period of three years ago, that this proposal was in line. It could begin its earlier study within the parameters of the public traffic process. This stall tactic reduces the capacity of the health government of the protect communities. "