The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Water and Waste Management will conduct a public hearing Tuesday, July 21 on its proposed revisions to Legislative Rule 47CSR2, “Requirements Governing Water Quality Standards.” This rule establishes requirements governing standards of surface water quality for the waters of the state. State water quality standards are developed to help protect and preserve water quality necessary to meet and maintain designated or assigned uses, such as swimming, recreation, public water supply, and/or aquatic life.
DEP has proposed revisions to aquatic life criteria for aluminum and selenium, as well as two site-specific variances. The proposed revisions to aluminum and selenium criteria are being done in accordance with a legislative directive, and are due to current research more adequately describing the toxicity of these elements to aquatic organisms. Research shows aluminum toxicity is dependent on water hardness and pH, while selenium, a naturally-occurring and essential micronutrient, can affect fish reproduction if it accumulates in tissue.
The proposed water quality standards variances are for Martin Creek and Sandy Creek of Preston and Barbour counties, and are being proposed to assist DEP’s Office of Special Reclamation (OSR) in taking a watershed-based approach to restoring water quality in streams historically affected by mining activities.
The July 21 public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Coopers Rock Training Room at DEP headquarters in Charleston. In addition to oral comments provided at the hearing, the agency will accept written comments through 9 a.m. on July 31. No comments will be accepted after that time.
Written comments may be submitted to the following address: Laura Cooper, Water Quality Standards, DWWM, WV Department of Environmental Protection, 601 57th St., S.E., Charleston, WV 25304.
Comments also may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments, both oral and written, will be made part of the rule-making record.
Copies of the proposed rule are available from the Secretary of State’s Office or from the DEP’s website: http://www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/Programs/wqs/Pages/WQSpublicmeetings.aspx. Hard copies of this information may also be obtained by calling Laura Cooper at 304-926-0499, ext. 1110.
For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov.