The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has FINALLY proposed revisions to the state’s water quality standard for SELENIUM.
In response to a mandate from the West Virginia Legislature, WV DEP is proposing to adopt a fish-tissue based selenium standard that more accurately reflects the most current science on selenium concentrations and stream health.
The proposed standard uses the federal government’s OWN recommendations and calculations and is virtually identical to a similar standard in Kentucky that has been approved by EPA.
State and federal regulators have long known the current selenium water standard was egregiously FLAWED but coal companies and other industries were required to install MILLIONS of dollars in unnecessary treatment systems to meet a meaningless standard.
The proposed revisions to the selenium standard are the first step by the state to implement a more reasonable set of regulatory measures that level the playing field for coal mines in West Virginia. In addition to selenium, the agency has also proposed changes to the Aluminum standard, another flawed criteria that requires expensive treatment systems, while doing nothing to protect the environment. Most states have NO aluminum standards at all, so the proposed change still makes West Virginia’s standards more stringent than most other coal producing states.
The anti-mining extremists like the Sierra Club will no doubt be at this hearing in full force, spinning fairy tales of environmental woe, alarmism and offering crocodile tears for our communities.
We need to be the REAL representatives of our state’s coal miners and coalfield communities at this hearing by SUPPORTING the proposed water standard changes that are ENTIRELY protective of the environment and restore SANITY and COMMON SENSE to the regulation of mining.