Criss Cross About Attacks on Water Protections: Help Out!

Thanks to WV Rivers Coalition, here’s an easy e-action:
Tell the House Judiciary No More Toxins in Our Water

As a geologist (with a focus on hydrology) with WV DEP, OVEC member Don Criss is keenly aware of the need to defend water. After all, we cannot live without clean water.

Don reached out to his Delegate in the WV State Legislature in regards to HB 2389.

Don notes, “Once again, the WV DEP shamefully abandons its role to protect the citizens most precious resource. This bill is heading to committee now, so I encourage all to speak out to the legislature.” Per actions alerts, Don reached out to his delegate with this note: 

As a hydrogeologist concerned about the health of West Virginians and the quality of our rivers and streams, I am writing you about HB 2389, the water quality standards rule, which the Judiciary Committee will soon be considering.

Water quality standards govern the amount of toxins the state allows in our water supplies. Your committee will be voting on whether to weaken standards through proposed revisions to our water quality standard’s human health criteria. In a state with the 3rd highest cancer death rate in the nation, do we really want to take that risk? Do you want your name on the list of those who show such poor judgment?

The toxicity of the compounds being considered is well established. I strongly urge you to oppose any change to our water quality standards that would allow more toxins in our water.

Please, make public health your #1 priority and reject any change that would weaken our water quality standards and increase risks to our health. Citizens are watching your response to their pleas for protection of our most precious resource and the health of our families. We will hold you accountable.

Don got a note back from the delegate: 

Dear Mr. Criss,

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding your concerns about HB 2389. It is my understanding that this bill is following the recommendations of the WV DEP and the US EPA, and it will not lessen the quality of our water. This proposed legislation is still in Committee, so I will monitor the bill as it proceeds to make sure that it will not lessen our water quality.

I appreciate you sharing your voice and providing me with this information. I am honored to represent House District 35 in the West Virginia House of Delegates and the great State of West Virginia. Please contact me at anytime that I can be of further service.

To which Don replied: 

Dear Delegate Pack,

You are misinformed. Regardless of the the WV DEP’s abandonment of its duty to protect our water resources, the facts remain. As I stated in my letter, the toxicity of these compounds in question is well established, and scientifically defensible. Your blind faith in whatever the WV DEP is telling is not.

Consider this chart:

You apparently have no understanding of these chemicals. Most people don’t. It is completely understandable that you were not aware of the toxicology of these compounds. You didn’t know. Now you do. The data that I have put before you is verifiable.

I have worked for more than 22 years on water contamination problems as a masters level geologist for the WV DEP, and I am very familiar with these carcinogenic compounds. You owe it to your constituents to educate yourself regarding this issue before acting on this most important matter. I am challenging you to defend your statement that ” it will not lessen the quality of our water.” More carcinogens in our water does not lessen its quality? How so, Delegate Pack? I am expecting an answer, and your reply will be widely distributed.

As I previously stated, in a state with the 3rd highest cancer death rate in the nation, why would you want to take that risk, given the known facts of these chemicals? Do you really want your name on the list of those who show such poor judgment?

Most sincerely,
Donald Criss

Thanks Don!

Legislators will soon vote on revisions to human health criteria within our water quality standards.HB 2389 would weaken protections for 13 toxins and was introduced in the House of Delegates the first week of the session, single referenced to the House Judiciary Committee. Please contact your Delegate(s) today (phone calls are best) to tell them you oppose any weakening of our water quality standards!

You can also take the easy e-action posted at the top of the page.

Updated: Feb 18, 2021 — 10:41 am

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