Oppose DEP’s Emergency Rule That Weakens Water Quality Standards for Aluminum and Beryllium

West Virginia Environmental Council Action Alert
March 26, 2013        WVEC Alerts Archive

Oppose DEP’s Emergency Rule That Weakens
Water Quality Standards for Aluminum and Beryllium

The WV DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management has filed an Emergency Rule with the Office of the Secretary of State that would weaken the West Virginia water quality standards in 47CSR2 for acute and chronic aluminum toxicity to aquatic life and the human health (Category A) criterion for beryllium.

The proposed revisions are drastic and equate to greater than a 13-fold and 46-fold increase over the current criteria for acute and chronic aluminum toxicity to aquatic life respectively.  Citing only minimal scientific justification for these proposed changes, the Emergency Rule fails to:

  1. Protect the “designated use” of WV streams as required under the federal Clean Water Act.
  2. Protect the public’s interest, rather than the interests of a small number of polluters who do not wish to pay to treat their waste.
  3. Provide adequate public participation in the rulemaking process.

In short, there is no emergency that justifies the promulgation of this rule. And there is no science showing that the changes protect designated stream use and public health.

DEP is accepting written comments and will hold a public hearing on the proposed Emergency Rule. This is your opportunity to let them know you oppose the rule and demand that the proposed changes go through the normal rulemaking process.

The hearing will be held at DEP’s Charleston headquarters, 601 57th Street S.E., Charleston, WV 25304, in the Coopers Rock Training Room on Wednesday March 27, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

In addition to oral comments provided at the hearing, the agency will accept written comments at any time up to the conclusion of the public hearing. No comments will be accepted after that time. Written comments may be submitted to the following address:

Kevin R Coyne
Water Quality Standards Program
WV Department of Environmental Protection
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304

Comments may also be e-mailed to dep.comments@wv.gov Comments will be made a part of the rulemaking record. Copies of the emergency rule and other rule documents are available from the Secretary of State’s office or from the agency website www.dep.wv.gov/wqs. Hardcopies of this information may also be obtained by calling Kevin Coyne at (304) 926-0499, ext. 1110.

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