WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


DEP Begins Process To Designate Kanawha River For Drinking Water Use

Reported by: Send eMail Kera Mashek
Videographer: Shelby Spradling, Mike McGee
Reported: Jul. 1, 2014 10:37 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

Kanawha River Use
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

The state is looking into a measure that could one day allow the Kanawha River to be a secondary source of drinking water. In wake of the water crisis, the idea is drawing a lot of attention.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is taking the first step in exploring how the community feels about turning the Kanawha River into a secondary water source for the area. During a public hearing Tuesday, most people were excited about the possibility, but there are certainly still some concerns.

It's been almost seven months since the Elk River chemical spill at Freedom Industries and efforts to prevent another water crisis are continuing. The DEP thinks one option to help could be to change the designation of the Kanawha River, so it could potentially be used for public drinking water.

"Get it up to that level to support the use is what we'd like to do ultimately," said Kevin Coyne, WV Water Quality Standards program manager.

Nearly everyone at the public hearing Tuesday is thrilled the DEP is looking at ways to clean up the Kanawha. It would allow for West Virginia American Water to put a second intake there, as a back-up option should the main intake on the Elk ever need to be shut off in the event of another spill.

"We are still years away from being approved. We have to still wait for the legislature next year, and we also have to submit the rule for EPA approval and that could take until January 2016," said Coyne.

But all the new rules that could come along with the change, including stricter discharge limits, are worrisome for big businesses who already legally dump materials into the Kanawha.

"Additional testing alone could mean thousands of dollars in increased costs to businesses along the Kanawha River in addition to the already greater costs for compliance," said Rebecca Randolph with the WV Manufacturing Association.

But Charleston small business owner Nancy Ward thinks the benefits of a cleaner Kanawha far outweigh the costs to big business.

"I see it as a good thing for business, and I think the only way to come out of this water crisis smelling like a rose and have people return is to show that we're really serious about cleaning up our water," said Ward.

Those in favor say another perk of the proposal other than offering a second source of drinking water is to have it cleaned up for everyone who enjoys the river for recreation on a beautiful day like.

"Any way we can clean up our rivers is a good thing!" said Ward.

If you couldn't attend Tuesday's meeting, you can still make your voice heard. Public comments can be sent to the DEP through July 21st. You can email them to dep.comments@wv.gov. They can also be mailed to the following address:

Kevin R. Coyne
Water Quality Standards Program
WV Department of Environmental Protection
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Man Accused In Robbery Has Bond Terms Modified
News
Jul. 28, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
A man accused in a violent convenience store robbery ...
Full News Story

Ohio Woman Sentenced In WV Embezzlement
News
Jul. 28, 2014 4:09 PM EDT
An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six ...
Full News Story

Huntington Museum Hosts Arts And Bots Nature Camp
News
Jul. 28, 2014 3:39 PM EDT
The Huntington Museum of Art is hosting an Arts and ...
Full News Story


News Ohio Authorities Say Indictments Could Put Dent In Drug Trafficking Organization
Jul. 28, 2014 2:31 PM EDT
News Advocacy Organization Applauds Federal Court Ruling That Declares Va. Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Jul. 28, 2014 3:19 PM EDT
News WV Attorney General $950K Settlement With Three Companies
Jul. 28, 2014 2:20 PM EDT
News Businesses Extend Helping Hand To Employees At Two Restaurants Affected By Huntington Fire
Jul. 28, 2014 2:03 PM EDT
News Dirty Girl Mud Run Says Its Assets Have Been Acquired By Human Movement
Jul. 28, 2014 1:40 PM EDT
News Firefighters Say Morris Building Fire Believed To Be Accidental
Jul. 28, 2014 2:02 PM EDT
News West Virginia American Water To Conduct Public Tour
Jul. 28, 2014 11:58 AM EDT
News Tennant Spoofs White House's Power In New Ad
Jul. 28, 2014 11:10 AM EDT
News Putnam Deputies Locate, Arrest Escapee
Jul. 28, 2014 11:03 AM EDT
News Power Outages Reported In Some WV Areas; Possible Tornado In Ritchie County
Jul. 28, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News Rock Beats Paper: Study Says Fist Bumps Spread Fewer Bacteria Than Handshakes Or High-Fives
Jul. 28, 2014 10:40 AM EDT
News Human Trafficking Conference Set In Morgantown
Jul. 28, 2014 10:29 AM EDT
News WV Awarded With 23 Litter Control Grants
Jul. 28, 2014 9:37 AM EDT
News WV Man Arrested After Child Found In Hot Car
Jul. 28, 2014 9:27 AM EDT
News Two Men Die In Boone County Crash
Jul. 28, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Real Life Rapunzel Cuts Hair For Cancer
Jul. 28, 2014 8:54 AM EDT
News Dollar Tree Buying Peer Family Dollar Stores For About $8.5 Billion
Jul. 28, 2014 8:57 AM EDT
News Dozens Treated For Illness At Keith Urban Concert
Jul. 28, 2014 8:58 AM EDT
News Cable On Ohio Amusement Park Ride Snaps, Injuring Two
Jul. 28, 2014 11:40 AM EDT
News Fourth Avenue Reopens Following Huntington Fire; 9th Street Plaza To Remain Closed
Jul. 28, 2014 9:04 AM EDT
News Fundraiser To Aid Teen Recovering From Brain Cancer
Jul. 28, 2014 9:02 AM EDT
News Tornado Watch Issued For WV Counties Until 3 a.m.
Jul. 27, 2014 9:47 PM EDT
News U.S. House Candidates Secure Prominent Endorsements
Jul. 28, 2014 9:13 AM EDT
News One Dead, Two Injured In Pike County Shooting
Jul. 28, 2014 9:14 AM EDT
News Emergency Officials Offer Advice On What To Do In Case Of Tornado
Jul. 27, 2014 6:45 PM EDT
News Clay Center Hosts Family Fun Day
Jul. 27, 2014 5:58 PM EDT
News On-Site School Review For Grading System To Debut
Jul. 27, 2014 4:58 PM EDT
News Art Project To Aid Huntington Children's Hospital
Jul. 27, 2014 4:57 PM EDT
News Both Directions Of I-77 Tunnel Near Bluefield Reopen After Fire
Jul. 27, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News Fans Welcome Saints To The Greenbrier
Jul. 26, 2014 11:36 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Ohio woman sentenced in W.Va. embezzlement

An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six months in federal prison for embezzling $150,000 from a government-subsidized apartment complex in West Virginia.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad

Oregon's largest coal-burning power plant is expected to shut down in a few years, but that doesn't mean coal is dead.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio woman sentenced in W.Va. embezzlement

An Ohio woman has been sentenced to one year and six months in federal prison for embezzling $150,000 from a government-subsidized apartment complex in West Virginia.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.