Pure Water

Pure, clean water is essential for life. Because water is abundant in West Virginia, we have been slow to recognize the threats to the safe water we need for drinking, for wildlife habitat and for outdoor recreation.

This came home to us in 2014 when chemicals from above-ground tanks owned by Freedom Industries leaked into the Elk River above Charleston, polluting the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians in 9 counties.

The threats to our pure water are many, including failing municipal waste treatment plants, industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, and urban stormwater runoff.

The West Virginia Legislature has seemed reluctant to address these threats. We plan to change that.

Read the Study on the Impact of Pipeline Construction on Streams by Trout Unlimited and West Virginia Rivers»

Our Pure Water Platform

We support the passage of the Clean Drinking Water Act.

We support legislation that will create a funding mechanism from fees paid by drilling companies for both preventing and plugging abandoned or orphan gas and oil wells.

We support a new regulatory approach to pipeline construction that would require stream by stream crossing plans, enhanced best management practices on sensitive waters such as wild trout streams, and substantially increase fines for permit violations. 

2023 Pure Water Bills

HB 2021

Providing for Funding of DEP Office of Oil & Gas

Currently, the Office of Oil & Gas has too few inspectors and is funded only by a $100 fee paid by an operator at the time of permit application. This bill would require that a $100 fee be paid by the operator annually on all wells that have not been plugged.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy & Manufacturing then to Finance

SB 109

Orphan Oil & Gas Well Prevention Act

This bill seeks to prevent orphan wells by prohibiting the issuance of well permits unless the applicant provides "plugging assurance." Plugging assurance must also be provided by owners of wells not producing in paying quantities. Plugging assurance is provided by a bond, a cash payment, or an escrow account in the actual amount needed to plug a well as determined by the Office of Oil & Gas

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy, Industry & Mining then to Finance

SB 13

Establishing Oversight Fee for Large-Producing Gas Wells

This bill would impose a additional $100 annual fee on gas wells that are otherwise subject to fees at the time of permit application, but that produce 10,000 cubic feet per day.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy, Industry & Mining

SB 143

Adopt-A-Stream Program

This bill would improve the safety requirements for participants younger than 17, would enlarge the period of stream adoption to 3 years from the current 1 year, and require at least one clean-up per year.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, committee reference dispensed with, passed Senate unanimously 1/11/23, sent to House, referred to Government Organizations