WV Citizen Action Group
Action Alert
April 25
2014
 Alert Archive

Below:

 #1. APRIL 28th DEADLINE:  Tell WV Congressman David McKinley to oppose the Chemicals in Commerce Act!

MCHM is among the more than 60,000 chemicals not regulated under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. There are a couple bills in Congress right now that attempt to reform TSCA but one, the Chemicals in Commerce Act, NEEDS IMMEDIATE ACTION!  It would do more harm than good.  More details are available in this factsheet from the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition. 

WV Representative David McKinley sits on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which is currently considering the bill.  What we need each person to call Congressman McKinley BY NO LATER THAN APRIL 28TH!! 

 STEP #1 -- Call his office:

o   Hello, my name is ________, and I live in ________.  I am a West Virginia resident and I am calling to urge Congressman McKinley to oppose the Chemicals in Commerce Act.  

o   This bill does not require that chemicals have basic health and safety information to be placed on the market or to stay on the market and it will prevent parents from having the basic information they need to make informed decisions about their health and the health of their families and unborn children.  

o   This bill would not protect us from another Elk River chemical spill!

Rep. David McKinley

DC Office:(202) 225-4172

Wheeling Office:  (304) 232-3801

Morgantown Office: (304) 284-8506

Parkersburg Office: (304) 422-5972 

 STEP #2 -- Sign the petition!!

 STEP #3 -- Send an email!  Here is a sample of what you can say.  

 STEP #4 -- Forward this information to your other friends, specifically those who may live in Congressman McKinley's district.

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 #2. MAY 15th DEADLINE:  Tell the Department of Environmental Protection to hold a transparent rule-making process to implement SB 373

SB 373 ended up a much stronger bill because of citizen participation and attention to the process.  But strong implementation and enforcement of SB 373 requires the Department of Environmental Protection to right a strong set of rules to regulate aboveground storage tanks.
 
The DEP recently announced that it will be accepting input from stakeholders into the design of the rules by May 15th, and that they will send the draft rules to stakeholders later this summer.  The DEP is attempting to make this a broad public process, and Secretary Huffman stated in the Gazette, ““If you want to be a stakeholder, you can be a stakeholder ... We want it to be as open a process as possible.”
 
But the DEP has not stated whether they will be publicly posting all of the comments that they receive through this stakeholder process.  We don’t want any secret industry comments coming in the back door.
 
Email Scott Mandirola (Scott.G.Mandirola@wv.gov) at the DEP requesting that he put you on the DEP’s “stakeholder” list for the SB 373 rules and requesting that the DEP post all comments about SB 373 on the DEP website.  Even if you don’t intend to file any comments, registering to get notices and draft rules is a good way to follow what is going on in the process.
 
If you care about clean water in our state, you need to participate in this process.  One thing is certain, the coal, oil/gas and chemical industry lobbyists will participate, and they aren’t there to protect our interests or our water.
 
We are in the process of developing some talking points that would be helpful for you to include in your comments that are due May 15th.  We will send those along to you once we have them finalized, so be on the ready!

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 #3. Ask the Public Service Commission to investigate WV American Water's response to the spill
 
One of the most disturbing aspects of this crisis is that our water system operates in exactly the same way it did on January 8th, and with no plans for change.  WV American Water’s president has said that WV American Water’s response was adequate and that he would do exactly the same thing again in a future spill. We know that WV American Water’s system is inadequate – it has limited redundancy, it loses 37% of its water through leaks, and there is no early warning monitoring for potential contaminants.
 
If we are to change the narrative from this crisis – to draw people and tourism back to Charleston – our best hope is to create a state-of-the-art water system here, so that Charleston can be known for having some of the safest drinking water in the country.
 
The Public Service Commission has the power to do this. The PSC can start by investigating WV American Water’s response to the spill and ordering changes to WV American Water’s system based on best practices from other utilities.
 
File a formal complaint with the Public Service Commission requesting a general investigation into WV American Water:
 
1.    Call the PSC’s toll-free complaint line (1-800-642-8544) or file an informal complaint online.
2.    Specify that you are filing an informal complaint under West Virginia State Rule 150-1-6.
3.    Provide the receptionist with the following information:

  Your name and address

  Your utility account number (available on your latest water bill or your online account)

  State that you are requesting that the PSC open a general investigation into West Virginia American Water’s billing practices during the water crisis, their emergency preparedness, and their processes for identifying, monitoring, and testing for potential contaminants in our water supply.

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