Action Alert: Don’t let our streams slip through the cracks!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found 346 streams (over 1,600 stream miles!) were missing from the WV Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) list of streams that fail to meet water quality standards.
That report, which is required per section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states WVDEP must submit a list to EPA every 2 years. The latest report included data for 2018, 2020, and 2022.
This crucial process ensures that necessary steps are taken to safeguard our water sources, but WVDEP continues to use an outdated methodology to assess biological impairments in streams. By only identifying aquatic insects at the family-level classification despite EPA’s recommendations to use genus-level classifications, WVDEP is letting streams slip through the cracks.
This oversight underscores the need for WVDEP to update its processes and allocate adequate resources to ensure that no stream, no matter how small, is neglected in our ongoing efforts to preserve our water resources.
At WV Rivers, we know it is imperative to insist on using the best science available when addressing water quality concerns in our communities — and right now, the EPA is accepting public comments until October 18, 2023, regarding this issue.
Together, let’s ensure a cleaner, healthier future for our communities.
For cleaner streams,
P.S. Did you miss yesterday’s webinar? If you’d like to learn more from our team at WV Rivers, you can watch the recording and review the slides on our website.