PUBLIC NOTICE: Legislative Response to WVDEP Oil and Gas Budget/Layoffs


In summer 2020, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Office of Oil and Gas cut its staff from 40 to 25 positions due to recurring budget shortfalls. As a result, there is now only one inspector per every 5000 gas wells. Currently, the Office is funded solely through one-time fees on new permit applications. This funding structure is not only inconsistent with other WVDEP Offices, it is also insufficient for sustaining the office's responsibility for monitoring and regulating all actions related to the exploration, drilling, storage and production of oil and natural gas.

We urge the West Virginia Legislature to immediately act on this issue.



Our water system has sampled for a series of unregulated contaminants. Unregulated contaminants are those that do not yet have a drinking water standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The purpose of monitoring for these contaminants is to help EPA decide whether the contaminants should have a standard. As our customers, you have a right to know that this data is available.
If you are interested in examining the results,  
please contact Randy Johnson or Charlie Cooper at  
You may also mail your request to:
2539 Stonehouse Rd
or email your request to:
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received the notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).
This Notice is being sent to you by LEWISBURG Water Plant
State Water System ID# WV3301307 January 21, 2020

 Governor Justice Names New WV DEP Secretary

Justice has appointed Harold Ward to take over leadership of the DEP effective January 18, 2021.  Ward has served as the DEP's deputy secretary of operations and director of the Division of Mining and Reclamation, where he oversaw all operational components of the department in addition to the agency's mining regulatory program. "Harold Ward has been a superstar in the WVDEP for a long time and the work he's done during my administration, leading our Division of Mining and Reclamation, has been truly incredible," Justice said "I have all the confidence in the world that he will do a fantastic job."

Reintroduction of the Roadless Area Conservation Act

(West Virginians for Public Lands.  February 2, 2021)  Efforts are underway to codify a Forest Service rule that prohibits road construction for logging and mining in designated backcountry areas.

Known as the "Roadless Rule," The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was first implemented by the Forest Service in 2001. Here in West Virginia, the Roadless Rule is important to the integrity of about 182,000 roadless acres throughout our three National Forests (Monongahela, Jefferson, and Washington).

Codification of the Roadless Rule is a priority for public lands advocates due to its vulnerability.  Last year, the Trump administration exempted the Tongass National Forest in Alaska from the Roadless Rule, which opened 9 million acres to extractive industries and logging, including 168,000 old growth acres.  
Learn more about the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2021 which would make the Roadless Rule law. 

* Earth Day ~ April 22 ~ Save the Date *

President Biden signs Executive Order
on January 27, 2021. The order reaffirms that the President will host a Leaders' Climate Summit on Earth Day, April 22, 2021

President Biden Takes Executive Actions to Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity Across Federal Government

The order sets a goal of protecting 30% of the nation's lands and waters by 2030. These conservation measures are identified as critical to slowing the effects of climate change.
Land conservation helps to mitigate climate change by storing and removing carbon through a process known as "carbon sequestration." The more carbon that is stored and removed through natural processes, the less carbon dioxide will reach the atmosphere. This is considered a "natural solutionto climate change. Academic literature suggests natural solutions can provide over one-third of cost-effective climate change mitigation needed by 2030.  The concept of protecting 30% of land and water by 2030 isn't a new idea, President Biden's executive order is based on the 30x30 Campaign for Nature, which is championed by the President's Department of the Interior Secretary nominee,

FERC weighs tightening rules on pipeline eminent domain 
February 1, 2021

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is eyeing stricter rules to empower property owners affected by natural gas pipelines or export projects. The five-member panel, now led by President Biden's pick of Democratic Chairman Richard Glick, issued anorderlast week seeking input on potential changes to its eminent domain proceedings, among other topics."Glick is reopening the door for landowner rights," said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst with Glenrock Associates LLC. "You don't have to be a tremendous student to know he is not happy with the way FERC has been approaching gas pipelines."Republican Commissioner James Danly, who served as chair under former President Trump, issued a sharply worded dissent challenging the move on procedural grounds.

If you appreciate the work we are doing, please consider a donation today.
Contract Position Open

The Greenbrier River Watershed Association is going to contract with a new coordinator. If you are interested in working about ten hours a week on projects with a goal of educating the public about our issues, please let us know and we will forward you the job description.  
WV Flood Tool