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Reasons for industry opposition to tighter water pollution limits remain murky


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On a Monday morning in March, Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, sent out an email to members of the state House of Delegates. In less than an hour, the delegates would be heading to the House floor, scheduled to take up a water quality rules bill.

McPhail wanted to be sure lawmakers didn’t amend back into the bill a series of long-delayed updates to the standards meant to protect West Virginians’ health from pollution in the state’s rivers and streams.

The WVMA needed more time to study the criteria using West Virginia-specific factors, she wrote. She attached letters from more than a dozen businesses and lobby groups that echoed the need for more time, asking delegates to reject a move to update the criteria to match up-to-date science.

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