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Climate, Jobs, and Justice: A Forum on West Virginia’s Future

The West Virginia Climate Alliance and a number of other organizations are holding a virtual public forum on Tuesday, August 24th from 7 to 8:30 pm. Climate, Jobs and Justice: A public forum on West Virginia’s future is designed to educate and inform the public where climate policy stands in Congress and what people can do to impact this policy. Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, will be joined by Pam Nixon of West Virginia NAACP, Jeremy Richardson of Unions of Concerned Scientist, and Sean O’Leary of Ohio River Valley Institute. It’s a great lineup.

Register here: Meeting Registration – Zoom

Over the next two months we will either adopt significant policy addressing the climate crisis or fail once again to make meaningful reforms. Please join us for this important discussion. 

Action Alert: WV Water Protections Under Revision – Act by July 19

We’re sharing this important Action Alert from our friends at the WV Rivers Coalition. 

All Hands on Deck: WV Water Protections Under Revision

A recent a policy decision by the WVDEP related to water quality standards creates a loophole to allow industries to dump more toxins in our source water.

This proposal is part of a second round of human health criteria revisions – the portion of our water quality standards that protects our health from dangerous pollutants like cancer causing toxins, chemicals known to cause birth-defects, and poisons like cyanide.

Submit comments on the proposal today!

This policy is dangerous for West Virginia. Not only will it allow more toxins in our drinking water sources, it creates a shortcut for polluters to allow EVEN MORE toxins in our water with less public involvement.

Ways this policy puts our health and our water at risk:

  1. The proposal creates a loophole for industry to further weaken the human health criteria on a case-by-case basis if industry funds a study that sways the WVDEP to decide that water and fish can handle more toxins.  
  2. This is handout to big corporations, who can afford the studies. Hint: chemical manufacturers asked for this loophole, so we are pretty sure they can afford these studies and are confident they believe they can demonstrate results in their favor.  
  3. There is already a process in place to revise water quality standards. The revision sidesteps that procedure by creating a shortcut that reduces scrutiny and public input in decision-making.  
  4. The loophole exacerbates environmental justice issues by allowing more toxins in waters near industrialized areas, which are often poorer communities that are already struggling with problems related to social, economic, and environmental justice.  
  5. On top of all these factors, it’s just plain old bad policy. It’s vague and sets a precedent for further weakening of water quality standards statewide.

This is an all hand on deck call to action!  

You can submit comments on the proposal through July 19 hereIt’s important for the WVDEP to hear personalized responses from commenters. Think about how the policy change would affect you and your loved ones personally.

In addition to submitting written comments, please plan to join the virtual public hearing on the proposal on July 19 at 6:00PM

WV DEP Proposes to Further Weaken Water Quality Standards

The WVDEP is proposing another round of changes to the state’s water quality standards that will allow more toxins in our drinking water sources, while also creating loopholes for polluters to further weaken criteria intended to protect human health. Our friends at the West Virginia Rivers Coalition have more details here. You have an opportunity to weigh in on this bad policy at a virtual public hearing hosted by the DEP on Monday, July 19 at 6 PM. 

Organizing Meeting for Charleston Area Members-At-Large Unit: Nov. 11

Great news for the Charleston Area — We’ve decided to become a Members-at-Large unit!

On October 9, a group of a little more than a dozen motivated women (and a few men) affirmed that there is a role in the Charleston area for a League of Women Voters Chapter. As the first step towards becoming a full chapter, we decided to officially coalesce as a MAL Unit.

As a Members-at-Large (MAL) Unit, we will

  • Hold 4 meetings a year
  • Elect a steering committee (to be elected at the next meeting)
  • Adopt a nonpartisan policy
  • Hold voter service events

At this meeting, we will:

  • Elect a steering committee
  • Adopt a nonpartisan policy
  • Suggest a calendar of voter services activities
  • Discuss establishing an observer corps to report on local and state meetings

More details on how to affiliate as a MAL with the Charleston area chapter, and notes from the October 9th meeting here

Redistricting Public Meetings

WV Senate Redistricting Task Force Public Comment Meetings

The WV State Senate Redistricting Task Force will hold informational meetings around the state. (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/redistricting.cfm )

The Legislature is expected to hold a special session in August or September to redraw State Senate and House of Delegate districts.

May 4 (Wed) – Berkeley County, Martinsburg, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Berkeley County Courthouse 2nd Floor Courtroom; 100 West King Street, Martinsburg, WV 25401

May 11 (Wed) – Ohio County, Wheeling, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Ohio County Courthouse 2nd Floor, City Council Chamber; 1500 Chapline Street, Wheeling, WV 26003

May 18 (Wed) – Kanawha County, Charleston, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Kanawha County Courthouse, 1st Floor, Commission Courtroom; 409 Virginia Street, East Charleston, WV 25301

May 21 (Sat) – Marion County, Fairmont, WV

10:00-11:30 am; Marion County Courthouse Division #1 Courtroom; 3rd Floor 219 Adams Street, Fairmont, WV 26554

May 25 (Wed) – Mingo County, Williamson, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Williamson City Hall Council Chamber; 107 East 4th Avenue, Williamson, WV 25661

June 1 (Wed) – Raleigh County, Beckley, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Governor Hulett C. Smith Theater; 1 Tamarack Park, Beckley, WV 25801

June 2 (Thu) – Pocahontas County, Marlinton, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Marlinton Town Hall Auditorium, 709 Second Avenue, Marlinton, WV 24954

June 8 (Wed) – Logan County, Chapmanville, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Chapmanville Municipal Building; 329 West Tiger Lane, Chapmanville, WV 25508

June 11 (Sat) – Cabell County, Huntington, WV

4:30-6:00 pm; Cabell County Courthouse, Courtroom #1; 750 5th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25701

June 15 (Wed) – Wood County, Parkersburg, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Parkersburg Municipal Building Second Floor, Council Chamber; 1 Government Square, Parkersburg, WV 26101

June 25 (Sat) – Upshur County, Buckhannon, WV

To be announced…

July 21 (Thu) – Mercer County, Princeton, WV

7:00-8:30 pm; Mercer County Courthouse, Courtroom of Judge Sadler; 1501 W. Main Street, Princeton, WV 24740