Scroll down to the end of this webpage to access the pdf and appendices
INFO FROM DALE MCCUTCHEON 1-30-15
We have discussed the EIS so I am sending you the link to the EIS that I use for reference and which also provides valuable information, including the forest issues. It is a cumbersome document but I think a necessary one for some of us to understand our plight and strategies and you can pick and choose from it as you desire..
Also, on the local front with our CC:
I will try not to be too confusing in the following, but I feel it is important to have background info such as follows in order to understand some of the issues we are facing. I don’t believe in “too much information” involving the matter at hand, the pipeline.
The EPA enforces the Clean Water Act (CWA) which establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters and the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA). Of all the regulatory authority involving the Clean Water Act is one of the few which may not be preempted by the Federal government (preempted means that state or local regulatory is taken away by Federal authority) in the FERC process.
The Office of Water (OW) ensures drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health. The OW is responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act and, together with states, tribes, and our many partners, protects public health by ensuring safe drinking water and protecting ground water. They oversee implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. They:
- develop and help implement national drinking water standards;
- oversee and assist funding of state drinking water programs and source water protection programs;
- help small drinking water systems;
- protect underground sources of drinking water through the Underground Injection Control Program; and
- provide information about drinking water quality to the public.
A public water system (PWS) is a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves at least twenty-five individuals. The public drinking water systems regulated by EPA, and delegated states and tribes, provide drinking water to 90 percent of Americans. These public drinking water systems, which may be publicly- or privately-owned, serve at least 15 service connections or 25 persons. Private, individual household wells, are not regulated by EPA.
The EPA safeguards human health by enforcing the requirements of the SDWA to ensure that the nation’s public drinking water supply and its sources (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and ground water wells) are protected. As far as this relates to Public Drinking Water Systems, the EPA ensures that public drinking water systems comply with health-based federal standards for contaminants, which includes performing regular monitoring and reporting. The Public Water System Supervision (PWSS) program is designed to protect public health by ensuring the safety of drinking water.
As can be read on the SDWA website, “EPA…encourage states, tribes and communities to use the information from (mandated) source water assessments to protect the delineated source water protection areas from identified pollution sources of major concern” and “Local political authorities may be able to adopt protection measures within their jurisdiction”. Pair the above with the inability o the Feds to preempt the Clean Water Act and Chapter 7 of the West Virginia Code which states “the Monroe County Commission is empowred to enact ordinances, issue orders and take other appropriate and necessary actions for the elimination of hazards to the public health and safety” and “Voila”, you have CC authority.
This is the “supposed” authority which is the basis for the County Commission action in the Monroe Watchman article. I am sure they are aware, based upon legal advice, that it is a far stretch in regards to the FERC process.
But what do they have to lose. It gives the public the impression that the CC is protecting them and if it is ever challenged, they may simply back off and then say “We tried” and still look like they are doing something.
While I have a problem with this type of “pulling the wool over” the public’s eyes, I don’t have a problem with exploiting their action to our benefit.
First, as mentioned above, the Safe Drinking Water Act does not cover private wells and springs serving households of which there are several hundred which may be potentially contaminated. Has the CC forgot about them?
Second, the groundwater source for the Red Sulphur PSD involves the Peters Mountain aquifer. Peters Mountain extends for 52 miles from northeast to Southwest. It is one of the most significant sources of water in the eastern US. Although there have been many studies of the water sources flowing out of Peters mountain, there is nothing definitively related to the length and coverage of the aquifer itself which may extend for most of the length of the mountain itself. Thus, the CC statement which proposes a five mile radius for the “geologic and hydrologic study” from the Red Sulphur source water protection area may be severely limited in protecting other areas and water sources, i.e. the Union source and the Gap Mills source as well as the many springs and wells all along Back Mountain Road, Zenith Road and further north from contamination.