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If you have been keeping up with our social media, you are aware that we, along with other WV advocacy organizations, requested a public hearing for HB 2598 from both Delegate Anderson and Delegate Pack, which were denied. In response to these denials, we collaborated with WV Rivers Coalition, OVEC, WV CAG and WV Sierra Club to host our own People’s Public Hearing today to which all legislators and members of the public were invited. This morning, dozens of WV citizens spoke out on the bill which would exempt specific oil and gas tanks from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act passed in response to the 2014 Freedom Industries chemical spill. Many concerned citizens spoke about their fears on how exempting these tanks from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act could harm our public drinking water supply. A few individuals gave very personal testimonies of their experiences from the water crisis of 2014, mentioning the negative effects it posed on themselves and their communities.
You still have time to contact your legislators as the bill now heads to the House Health and Human Resources Committee, likely on Tuesday or Thursday. Please contact members (phone call is best) and ask them to vote no on HB 2598.
Watch the People’s Public Hearing on HB 2598 here.
Take a look at the transcript of the hearing (put together by WV Rivers Coalition):
Another important Public Hearing announcement:
Despite the denials for public hearing requests for HB 2598, our requests for HB 2389, the water quality standards rule, were approved. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 1, at 9 am on the bill. The hearing will be held through Zoom and the link will be posted to the House Judiciary’s website as it becomes available. The link should be posted here.
Thank you all for your help and support thus far. We still have quite a few days ahead of us, but we are making some noise with all of your efforts. Until next week!
Hannah King, WVEC Lobbyist
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