skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

WV Bills to Relax Water Protections Seen as “Dangerous”

play audio
Play

Monday, March 1, 2021   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With memories of the 2014 Elk River chemical spill still fresh, West Virginia environmental groups are pushing state lawmakers to oppose bills they say would roll back water protections.

House Bill 2598 would relax regulations in the Aboveground Storage Tank Act, passed in 2014 to beef up protections after the Elk River spill.

Gary Zuckett, executive director for the West Virginia Citizens Action Group, in a virtual public hearing about the bills, said the spill contaminated water for more than 300,000 West Virginians.

Zuckett contended the bill would reduce much-needed inspections that prevent toxic fracking fluids from leaking into tap-water intakes.

"This bill is taking us backwards," Zuckett argued. "It seeks to ease the burden on the oil and gas industry, an industry that has extracted millions and billions of dollars of wealth from West Virginia."

The bill's sponsor, Del. John Kelly, R-Wood County, said oil and gas tanks need to be inspected, but not as strictly as the current Storage Tank Act calls for.

He claimed the tanks also contain the easiest chemicals to clean up if there's a future spill. The bill is in a House committee this week.

Environmental groups say the health impacts of chemical spills should be a priority.

Angie Rosser, executive director for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, said only small amounts of storage-tank pollutants are safe for human consumption.

She added many chemicals, such as benzene and xylenes, can lead to anemia, nervous-system damage and liver and kidney problems.

If House Bill 2598 passes, Rosser estimated about 1,000 oil and gas waste tanks across 27 counties would become unregulated.

"So why is this bill so dangerous?" Rosser asked. "One, because these tanks are sitting closest to our drinking-water intakes. Number two, they contain, we know, a mixture of very toxic chemicals that are harmful to human health. And three, if these tanks are exempt, there is essentially no oversight and leaves our drinking water at risk."

The second water-related bill, House Bill 2389, would allow the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to ease groundwater quality standards.

The House Judiciary Committee holds a public hearing on it today at 3:00 p.m.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
A new report shows that people who complete Prop 47-funded programs like those offered at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Los Angeles are much less likely to be reincarcerated. (Safe Harbor)

Social Issues

play sound

Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…


Social Issues

play sound

Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …

play sound

You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …


Social Issues

play sound

The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…

Legislative supporters say had South Dakota taken part in a new federally funded summer meal program for low-income families, an estimated 54,000 children around the state would have benefited. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …

Social Issues

play sound

Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…

Social Issues

play sound

A new tool is examining child care availability in Connecticut. United Way of Connecticut's tool shows the actual number of offered child care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021