Governor Earl Ray Tomblin                                    December 14, 2010                      
State of West Virginia                                                                                               
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East                                                     
Charleston, WV26323                                                                                                                      

RE: Crisis Legislation to Protect our Infrastructure, Water and Air.  

We seek a meeting with you as soon as one can be arranged, to explain the attached resolutions and answer questions about them. We need your help with these important issues at this time of crisis. Our Legislative Committee is already working on these topics.

A crisis exists in West Virginia.  The Monongahela River and many other rivers and streams are increasingly high in total dissolved solids (TDS).  Legacy mine operations and existing operations are primary contributors along with all the other activities of a modern society.  Yet, drinking water is essential to life, residential water supplies are necessary to sustain our lifestyle, and relatively clean streams are necessary to sustain the web-of-life involving the diverse plants and animals of our environment.

A crisis exists in West Virginia.  Marcellus shale fracking operations require a few million gallons of water per well; and, any of this water that returns to the streams brings high TDS levels. Potentials for contamination by toxic chemicals is a significant problem.

A crisis exists in WV.  State and federal agencies have been overwhelmed with the 12,900  new wells in the last five years and unable to reasonably inspect them or protect the water and air throughout our State. Now action on the part of the Legislature and State agencies is essential.  Your leadership in this effort would make all the difference.

Our Compact was formed in August of this year to bring attention to and promote education and information on the water (and air) issues in our region. This WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact has had four major meetings with over 28 watershed and conservation groups participating; and, we have adopted some 16 resolutions for your consideration and use.   A summary of our Resolutions is attached.  The full record of these Resolutions is available at www.uppermon.org

The WV DEP has prepared draft legislation and the Judicial Committee of the WV Legislature has prepared a draft bill to address some of the issues involved. We know that our State can have continued energy development while the State’s infrastructure and the air we breathe and the water we drink are protected.  Our roads must be protected, our school children must be able to travel safely, our homes need to be free of hazardous or explosive pollutants, and our water must have TDS levels below the nuisance threshold of 250 ppm.

Duane G. Nichols                                            Barry G. Pallay


Duane G. Nichols, President of CLEAR           Barry G. Pallay, V.P. of UMRA
Co-Chair, Monongahela Area Compact            Co-Chair, Monongahela Area Compact
330 Dream Catcher Circle                               109 Broad Street, P. O. Box 519
Morgantown, WV 26508                                 Granville, WV 26534-0519