West Virginia lawmakers focus on clean water legislation

West Virginia

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Though the West Virginia legislature has been adjourned since last month, some lawmakers are busy working in their districts to protect the safety and quality of Mountain State waters.

The chemical spill in Martinsburg last December has fast-forwarded the effort, but prior to that contamination was discovered at the Big Springs water filtration plant in Berkeley County. Contamination was discovered from a substance traced to the Air National Guard base at Shepherd Field nearby. At least two federal agencies are studying those public safety hazards.

Jefferson County Delegate John Doyle and Monongalia County Delegate Evan Hansen, an environmental scientist, are working on legislation to prevent water toxicity in West Virginia. They draw on the recent motion picture, Dark Waters, about industrial contamination in the Ohio River near Parkersburg.

“The C-8 chemical leak from Teflon at the DuPont works and the problems here in the eastern panhandle have triggered the need for a clean water agenda,” says Doyle. “The same chemical was found near here in Martinsburg.”

He hopes lawmakers will make progress when the legislature meets for its interim session in a few weeks and he is shooting for a new law on the books by next February. Both Doyle and Hansen are aided by a citizens coalition promoting clean water in West Virginia.

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