WV Gov. Justice signs water pollution bill
Justice signs water pollution bill.
Jim Justice signed a controversial bill Tuesday that could allow for increased pollution discharges into the state’s rivers and streams.
The legislation (House Bill 2506) changes the way the state Department of Environmental Protection sets pollution discharge limits.
Under the bill, the department will now use an average stream flow, or “harmonic mean” when setting pollution discharge limits, instead of the low-flow stream figure they have been using.
The bill faced stiff opposition along the way from Democrats in the House and Senate — who attempted to amend the bill several times to narrow its scope — and from some members of the public.
Along with changing measurement standards, the bill also allows mixing zones (points where discharges enter the water and begin the dilution process) to overlap, pending approval from the DEP with the Environmental Protection Agency’s review.
The bill passed through the House of Delegates March 1 on a 63-37 vote and through the Senate on a 20-13 vote.
Reach Jake Zuckerman at firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-348-4814 or @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.