Roundup of the week’s activities

There was no movement this week on H.B. 2574/S.B 423, “Gutting the Aboveground Storage Tank Act.”  But we’re expecting S.B. 423 to appear on the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee early in the week.  Please tell them NOT to gut the water protections we achieved last year in S.B. 373!  Tell them to reject this bill!

On Tuesday, the WV Rivers Coalition’s Angie Rosser discussed this bill on MetroNews “Talkline;” read about that here.

S.B. 357, the “Coal Jobs and Safety Act,” passed the Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 26-8.  The dissenters were concerned about the bill’s weakening of safety protections for miners.

The companion bill, H.B. 2566, appeared on the agenda of the House Judiciary committee this week, but on Friday it was removed and it’s not on Monday’s agenda either.  There is speculation that this may be because of Ken Ward’s Gazette story, which was posted online Thursday evening.

The bill would also relieve coal companies from meeting water quality standards in their pollution permits and weaken aluminum criteria for streams.

On Monday morning we had a press conference to talk about the legislature’s multiple attacks on clean water.  Press accounts are here, here and here.

H.B. 2004/S.B. 4 are the bills that would place limitations on the DEP’s development of a compliance plan for the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan.”  H.B. 2004 passed the House last week, and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  Related reading is herehere and here.

Friday saw the introduction of S.B. 482, which would seriously weaken air pollution permitting for smaller sources, and limit DEP’s ability to review permit applications.  It’s referenced to the Judiciary Committee.

Seen on Twitter this week:  “Apparently the WV legislature heard residents say ‘At least we’re not Mississippi’ and they took it as a personal challenge.”     Funny.  But sad . . .

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