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Citizens, advocates criticize DEP for failing to defend water quality standards


The Register-Herald

Laura Cooper, assistant director Division of Water DEP, fourth from left, listens to remarks during a public hearing on water quality.
(Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero)

CHARLESTON, W.Va.  — About 30 people turned out for a public listening session Thursday at the Department of Environmental Protection, with most criticizing the DEP for recently opting not to defend its own proposal to update water quality standards.

After the federal Environmental Protection Agency recommended West Virginia update standards for amounts of pollutants allowed in West Virginia rivers and streams in 2015, the DEP released last year its proposal to update about 60 of those standards.

For about two-thirds of the standards, less pollution would have been permitted in West Virginia waterways. For about one-third, more pollution would have been allowed.

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