Citizen Advocates Defeat HB 2598 –
Oil & Gas Tank Deregulation Bill

From WV Rivers: The 2021 Legislative session came to a close on Saturday and we have some good news to share. The dangerous bill that would have exempted certain oil & gas storage tanks from the Aboveground Storage Tank Act was defeated! This means over 880 oil and gas storage tanks will remain under the protection of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act!

This victory demonstrates the power of persistent citizen advocacy. Over the course of the legislative session, more than 20,800 messages were sent to members of the WV Legislature on the dangers of this bill. Defeat of this bill is a good reminder that every email and every call makes a difference. Thank you for your dedication to clean, fresh, safe water in West Virginia!

Donovan McLaurin refused to negotiate with Dominion over access to 11 acres of his farm. With federal approval, the utility seized the parcel for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Now that the project is canceled, it’s unclear how or if the land will be fully restored. (Photo: Lisa Sorg) (Story HERE)
Comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) about the proposed restoration plan for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are due this coming Friday, April 16 (by 5 pm). ABRA member organizations and individuals involved in the coalition are urged to express your views to FERC. 
To assist those submitting comments, please consult the following links: 
Bail denied for Mountain Valley Pipeline protestors
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Bail was denied Monday for a man arrested for trespassing as a protester against the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Montgomery County.
Alexander Lowe, 24 of Worcester, Massachusetts, was in court and told he would stay in the Montgomery County Jail, with another hearing set for May 5.
He was arrested for Obstruction of Justice and Interfering with the Property Rights of Another.
Lowe was the lone remaining tree sitter after others were removed two weeks ago from the site on Yellow Finch Lane.
Another protester, Claire Fiocco, 23 of Dorset, Vermont, also remains in jail without bond.
A small number of people are standing outside the courthouse in support of the protesters.

Funds from Mountain Valley Pipeline awarded for
Carvins Cove land, other projects
Roanoke Times
April 12, 2021

The entire shoreline of the Carvins Cove Reservoir could soon be in public hands.

A $175,000 grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation will initiate talks with the owners of a 46-acre tract at the reservoir’s southern tip — the last remaining privately owned piece of waterfront property.

The grant was awarded to the Western Virginia Water Authority, which co-owns and manages the reservoir and a surrounding 12,700-acre natural reserve with the city of Roanoke. “Carvins Cove is the primary source of drinking water for residents in the valley, and land conservation activities such as these protect water quality and expand low-impact recreational activities in the valley,” read a statement released Monday by authority spokeswoman Sarah Baumgardner.

Money for the purchase came from the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which three years ago agreed to pay $27.5 million to the state of Virginia to compensate for the forest fragmentation and water pollution that was expected to come from building the massive pipeline. Virginia then passed the company’s payment on to four conservation groups. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation received $15 million, which it has been doling out in annual grants to recipients in the six counties crossed by the pipeline — Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania.

The latest round of grants announced Monday totals $1 million. In addition to the water authority, seven other applicants were awarded funding for trail and greenway projects, improvements to parks, and construction of a river access point.

Full story HERE


Huge thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday to help with our Make it Shine annual clean-up event. Without our volunteers, we would be a much less effective organization.
Pictured: Some of our volunteers, at Make it Shine Event at Anthony Boat Launch ! Thanks for your service.
Mary Surbaugh joins GRWA as new Coordinator

Mary Surbaugh, of Alderson WV, has joined our team of dedicated professionals as the new Coordinator of the Greenbrier River Watershed Association. Mary has lived and worked in Greenbrier County her whole life, with the exception of leaving for extended education. She lived most of her life in the Rainelle area until recently. Mary is an accomplished event planner, but you may recognize her from the Courthouse Farmer's Market, Lewisburg, WV, which she will continue to manage.

" For years, I have dedicated myself to the land and those who take care of it. The decision to accept the position was natural and easy as water and soil go together. You cannot have one without the other. Clean water makes for good soil. I look forward to learning as much as possible about the watershed and working to protect our natural resources. I am grateful to the board of directors of the watershed, who have faith in my ability.” 

Update! Rain Barrel Workshop ~ April 29, 2021
Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA), in partnership with the City of Lewisburg, WV Rivers Coalition and WV Department of Environmental Protection, will be giving out 50 gallon rain barrels to area residents!

Rain barrels help control stormwater runoff and reduce pollution into our waterways. GRWA will have the rain barrels on display at the Lewisburg Farmers Market on April 17th.

You must attend the virtual Rain Barrel Workshop on April 29 at 7pm to be eligible to receive your free rain barrel. 

Forest Service Virtual Meetings

The public is invited to participate in one of two virtual meetings, April 13, 6-7:30 p.m. and April 15, 6-7:30 p.m., related to rehabilitation projects at the Lake Sherwood Campground on Monongahela National Forest’s Marlinton-White Sulphur Ranger District. Each meeting will include the same information.
As a result of funding from the Great American Outdoors Act, Lake Sherwood Campground will be renovated by replacing several old toilet/shower wooden buildings with new accessible concrete structures, demolishing old vault toilets, repairing utility lines, replacing sewer infrastructure, reconstructing the amphitheater, and installing new traffic signs.
“We would like to take this opportunity to begin an ongoing conversation with the public about Lake Sherwood and how we can improve the visitor experience there,” said District Ranger Cynthia Sandeno. “During the meetings, we will share information about the work that is already planned at the lake for this year, but we would also like to hear suggestions from those who love Lake Sherwood about what they want us to focus on for fiscal year 2022.”

FERC Workshop
April 16, 2021 9:00am - 5:00pm The workshop will provide interested parties with the opportunity to provide input to the Commission on the creation of the Office of Public Participation. The Commission intends to establish and operate the Office of Public Participation to "coordinate assistance to the public with respect to authorities exercised by the Commission," including assistance to those seeking to intervene in Commission proceedings, pursuant to section 319 of the Federal Power Act (FPA). 16 U.S.C. § 825q-1. Congress directed the Commission to provide, by June 25, 2021, to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress a report on the Commission's progress towards establishing the Office of Public Participation, including an organizational structure and budget for the office, beginning in fiscal year 2022. Full info HERE  
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WV Rivers ~ WV Rivers is the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean, drinkable, swim-able, and fishable rivers and streams-from the headwaters to wherever water flows in West Virginia. 
WV Environmental Council ~ Facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing grass roots groups, to facilitate interaction among established environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West Virginia's environment. 
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