Action Alert: Protect Community Monitoring
Action Alert: Protect Community Monitoring!
West Virginia House Bill 5018 poses a significant threat to the integrity of community air monitoring efforts and the protection of our environment. It was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Manufacturing last week and we expect it to come up for a vote as early as tomorrow, Tuesday, January 30.
HB 5018 appears to be an industry-backed bill to put the lid on data that could be helpful to DEP’s effectiveness. This tells community members that their monitoring efforts and their interest in being an ally in ensuring a healthy environment aren’t worthy.
Community air monitoring programs play a crucial role in identifying pollution hotspots and ensuring that communities, especially those disproportionately affected by pollution, receive the attention and protection they deserve. These programs complement the work of state and federal agencies like the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) by providing essential data to inform investigations that aid the implementation of the Clean Air Act.
By devaluing the significance of community-generated data, HB 5018 not only undermines the effectiveness of environmental regulation but also threatens the health and well-being of our communities. It sets a dangerous precedent that could extend to other areas of environmental monitoring, including water quality.
It is imperative that we stand together to oppose HB 5018 and protect the integrity of community monitoring programs. We cannot allow industry interests to silence the voices of concerned citizens and jeopardize the health of our environment and communities.
Again, you can take action at this link: https://wvrivers.salsalabs.org/protectcitizenmonitoring
Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you require any further information or clarification.