Eastern Panhandle Sierra Club (EPSC), along with other local and state environmental organizations, will attend Environmental Day at the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston on Tuesday, January 28.
During the day, the local Sierra Club chapter, along with the Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition, and Jefferson County Foundation will staff display tables in the Rotunda, meet with House Delegates and State Senators, listen to speakers, and join with organizations throughout the state to support environmental causes and legislation.
First and foremost among concerns for the local groups is the proposed Rockwool plant in Jefferson County.
Local citizens have been protesting the plant for nearly a year and a half because of its proximity to schools, the threats it would pose to air and water quality, and the inadequate public notice and participation that led to its official approval.
Along with Rockwool, environmental day participants will be opposing legislation that would eliminate most of the chemical storage safeguards put in place after the 2014 massive chemical spill on the Elk River that contaminated drinking water for one-third of the state.
Additional legislative concerns are bills that would affect incentives and public financing of alternative energy sources in West Virginia.
State environmental organizations are also supporting a “Green Amendment” to the West Virginia Constitution similar to a clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution. The amendment would read:
“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. West Virginia’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the State shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all people.”