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Weakened water quality standards remain point of contention as joint legislative committee advances them to West Virginia Legislature

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A state legislative committee has advanced revisions to requirements governing West Virginia’s water quality standards that have drawn criticism from environmentalists.

The Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee on Dec. 9 approved modifying a rule that would weaken some of the state’s water quality standards, a modification that will be submitted to the full Legislature for consideration during the next legislative session.

The plan to update the state’s water quality standards dates back to 2018, when the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection proposed updating standards on pollutants discharged into the state’s rivers and streams. The standards are up for DEP review every three years per the federal Clean Water Act. The DEP proposed updating standards for 60 pollutants, some of which hadn’t been updated since the 1980s, based on recommendations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made in 2015.

But the committee removed those standard updates in 2018 after pushback from the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, which has argued that the DEP should use different human health criteria…

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/weakened-water-quality-standards-remain-point-of-contention-as-joint-legislative-committee-advances-them-to/article_1460c8fd-28f8-510f-8a04-394ba3cf314e.html

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