Legislature starts to take action on reclassifying the Kanawha River

The Department of Environmental Protection’s proposal to reclassify the Kanawha River as Category A – which would allow it to be used as a drinking water supply – needs to be approved by the state legislature. House Bill 2289 is the bill that would do just that. This morning, House Bill 2289 was passed out of the House Industry & Labor Committee and now moves to the Judiciary Committee.

Ironically, this bill might become a vehicle for amendments to weaken water quality protections statewide. During the December interim session, legislators voted down a proposal to eliminate Category A protections statewide; a similar proposal came up in the state Senate last week. Similar harmful amendments are expected to be proposed for House Bill 2289 in the Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, House Bill 2574 – the bill to gut the Aboveground Storage Tank Act – is also in the House Judiciary Committee. The Committee has not yet put that bill on its agenda since it was introduced last week.

We will keep you posted if/when either of these bills is put on the Committee’s agenda for a vote!

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