More WV water pollution

By Ken Ward
Charleston Gazette

SAM OWENS | Gazette-Mail photos
Evan Hansen (left) of Downstream Strategies answers technical questions from delegates during the House Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday at the West Virginia Capitol.

A bill that would allow more pollution to be discharged into West Virginia’s rivers and streams was approved Wednesday afternoon by the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee, giving industry officials their first victory in a renewed effort toward passage of a long-sought weakening of water quality protections.

Committee members voted 15-10 to advance to the House floor the change in the stream flow figures the state Department of Environmental Protection uses when it sets discharge limits for water pollution permits under the state’s program to implement the federal Clean Water Act.

Supporters say the change included in House Bill 2506 is acceptable under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendations, but opponents question what impact the legislation would have on the environment, public health and the economy.

“This doesn’t increase jobs,” said Delegate Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio. “It doesn’t increase revenue. The only thing it does increase is pollution.”  Full story HERE

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