Let’s do this: let’s pressure our legislators to stop working for their donors. They should be working for The People. This is not a partisan issue. We’re ALL under attack.
If you only have a moment, please scroll down to the form below and send an email to every legislator who voted to pollute our waters. If you have a couple minutes more, take some time to read about how their ineptitude served to accidentally undo their malintent…
If you’ve been following the blog, you know that this year our legislators passed Cancer Creek legislation. This would allow A LOT more poisons to be released into WV streams—see below for just how much—even though EVERY stream in this state already has a fish consumption advisory, and WV also already has the second highest cancer rate in the nation.
- Cancer Creek passed the House. See which delegates voted for it.
- Cancer Creek passed the Senate. See which senators voted for it.
- Then the Governor signed it.
However, something—divine mercy, or magic, or luck (definitely some legislative ineptitude)—have somehow protected us from it for another year.
Because after Cancer Creek was signed into law, another rollback of water protections modified the same WV Code to remove even more protections. But what it did was change that Cancer Creek section BACK. So when the governor signed that one, it overrode the disastrous Cancer Creek changes.
“Whoops! We accidentally protected you!”
—-West Virginia Legislature
This is perfectly illustrative of how much legislators and our governor are paying attention to our water.
But we also know that accidental protection is not something we can count on as we go forward. I told you last year, they’d bring Cancer Creek back in 2017, and they did. I’m telling you now: They will bring it back again next session. Because they get big campaign donations to do so. Look your rep up here (then keep clicking through to see PDFs of their campaign finance reports).
So let’s TELL the legislators who voted for this “WE SEE WHAT YOU ARE DOING—and we won’t let you do something like this to us without repercussion!”
Send an email to every WV senator and WV delegate who voted for Cancer Creek.
In case you were wondering:
How Much More Poison Cancer Creek Could Allow
- For Morgantown, #CancerCreek would mean almost 10 times as many carcinogens and other toxins could be released into the Monongahela River.
- At Charleston, that change allows a 12-fold increase in toxins dumped into the Kanawha River.
- In Parkersburg, it would permit 21 times more poisons to be unloaded into the Little Kanawha.
- For little Cairo here in Ritchie County, 38 times the number of chemicals and toxins could be discharged into the Hughes.
See how to figure out how much could be going into your local creek or stream.
Your email will go to every WV legislator who voted for Cancer Creek; I’ll also receive a copy. If you’d like to allow me to quote your letter in future posts, comment below to give your permission.
Want to help MORE messages like this get out there? Please donate. Even just $2 would help.
Can always use mine if it helps. Always consider them open lettera from me.
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Absolutely use mine!
We’re nearing 50 letters sent in the first day. Hopefully this pace will continue.
Sure, use mine.
Feel free to use mine, and I will write them anytime you need some back-up, It’s the least I can do for the cause 😉
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I just got a response from Senator Boso. He wrote:
Good morning, Lissa
I’m assuming you’re speaking of HB2506, which was passed by both houses of the legislature and approved by Governor Justice on April 9th, 2017. This piece of legislation simply changes the methodology used by the WV DEP to be consistent with current EPA guidelines and requirements. The harmonic mean flow methodology adopted in this legislation was at the request of the EPA and was endorsed by the WVDEP to allow current, reliable methodologies and modeling techniques based upon years of scientific research and study. The antiquated 7Q10 flow basis modeling for establishing waste load allocations is over 35 years in age, based upon my personal knowledge and utilization of the methodology as a registered professional engineer having practiced in the wastewater industry.
Should you have any further questions or need additional assistance, please feel free to contact me.
Gregory L. Boso, P.E., Chairman
Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
WV Senator of the 11th
Here’s my response:
Hi, Senator Boso!
Thanks so much for responding. Yes, I’m speaking of the Cancer Creek legislation, which passed House and Senate, despite public outcry, was signed by the governor (despite public outcry) and which was then accidentally undone by legislation that followed, because it modified the same code. (Surely you’ve read this in the Gazette.) This “accidental protection” gives me the sense that the legislature (and the governor) is more interested in fulfilling a donor wishlist than in paying close attention to the effect the legislation will have on us.
I love to fish. Every stream in WV already has a fish consumption advisory. The bottom line is we don’t need more toxins in the water; we need fewer. This is not a partisan issue, either; members of the public don’t want more toxins in our water. However, we do know there are lots of companies that donated in hopes of buying that legislation. And they claimed it would
n’t[oops-Ll] bring jobs without, of course, providing any evidence or promise to do so. It feels like they’re offering plausible deniability: “Hey, I believed them!” legislators can say while their campaign coffers fill up.
I’m aware of the methodology change; this is what allows the increase in toxins in our water. Make sense? The harmonic mean is essentially an average flow measure, while the low flow rate measures (not surprisingly) the low flow rate over a 10 year period.
If you’re unable to understand how this change in calculation can increase the toxins in our water, please take a few moments to consider. In WV, we have a big difference in seasonal flow. What runs in my own creek in the spring is probably double what flows in the summer. During a dry spell in summer, sometimes my stream is barely moving at all. Using the low flow rate–the 7Q10– would protect streams from excessive toxins during low-flow periods. That’s because the calculations are using average flow calculations during low flow periods. I hope that helps you understand the objection people have to this legislation, and why so many are ready to fight if the legislature tries to bring Cancer Creek back.
Read more about this here:
https://lissalucas.com/2016/12/14/cancer-creek-wv/ (This from last year when they tried to change the calculation by DEP rule)
I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Are you willing to refuse money from any WVMA PACs, other polluter PACs, and their associated execs?
Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
Holler from the Hollers!
I was shocked by the truth-sidestepping in my identical response from Senator Boso. The EPA “requested” this? I am confident that the EPA told WV we had the option to stick with our more stringent measure if we chose.
Also, his closing is laughable: “The antiquated 7Q10 flow basis modeling for establishing waste load allocations is over 35 years in age, based upon my personal knowledge and utilization of the methodology as a registered professional engineer having practiced in the wastewater industry.”
1: I was never curious about 7Q10’s “age.” I don’t care if it is old if it is rigorous. In fact, if it has been a proven measure for over 3 decades, great. I hope that means people are very familiar with it, and good at calculating it.
2. I’m not impressed that Boso has personal knowledge of the age of something. I found studies using 7Q10 modeling from the 80s and did the math in my head to come to the same age conclusion.
My real question: If he really has experience in this field, why is his experience so different than the water utility fellow who testified in our recent regular session that he does not want our WV legislators to weaken regulations on his behalf.
All good questions. IMO, they really don’t expect to have people call them on their votes, and they expect that we’ll be palliated by this sort of rhetoric. I don’t know if they are themselves palliated, or if they’re simply satisfied because it benefits them.
“Antiquated” did make me laugh. The difference we should be worried about is between “provides protections” and “removes protections” —“antiquated” has nothing to do with it. I’m not nearly as interested in making sure my water protections are fashionable as I am in making sure they’re effective and provide those protections even in low-flow periods.