CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislation adopted in West Virginia soon after the 2014 Freedom Industries Chemical Spill requires water systems in the state to create and maintain source water protection plans for all of public water treatment systems. The state’s largest water company, West Virginia American, has eight different treatment plans for the company’s eight different water systems.
West Virginia American maintains a source water protection plan for each system. All are due in 2019 for their first update since they were created.
“The first plans we provided in 2016 for all of our systems,” said Megan Hannah, External Affairs Manager for West Virginia American Water. “Those are all available on our website and this is our second round of plans that we’ve made as part of the program.”
Changes proposed to the plans, according to Hannah, are not drastic.
“We’re not looking at any major changes,” she explained. “We make changes to our communication plans, updating contact information, and making sure we have the most up to date information on potential contaminants. On those things we have made updates, but nothing major.”
Legislation requires the company to gather input from customers of each water system about the plans. Customers can make offerings and suggestions of how to make them better. The public comment period is now underway and will include a pair of webinars on the proposed changes Tuesday, April 23 and Wednesday April 24th. Additionally next month, the company will stage in-person meetings where customers can meet face to face with representatives of the company to offer input.
Information on those public meetings and webinars along with the protection plans are on the West Virginia American website.