Advocates tout “Environmental Day” at West Virginia Capitol

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — It was “Environmental Day” at the West Virginia Legislature. Advocates for clean water legislation were there. They also want environmental protections for expanding the fossil fuel industries. The day was lead by Tracy Danzey, a native of Parkersburg, who lost a leg and hip to cancer after years of swimming in chemically polluted waters.

“At 20 I developed a dysfunctional thyroid, and at 25 my hip shattered. And it was a pathologically atypical cancer which is common with industrial poisonings,” said Tracy Danzey, a community advocate.

It’s stories like that which prompted some lawmakers to introduce a clean drinking water bill this session. The idea is to identify any chemicals in the water supply.

“Well the first step with this legislation is to collect the data and do the science, so that we know what the safe levels are,” said Del. Evan Hansen, (D) Monongalia.

But business leaders say they are doing their part on the environment. After all, they are trying to attract people and businesses to the Mountain State, not chase them out.

“We’re right here in Central West Virginia and I mean this is ground zero for burning almost 100 percent coal and having coal fired generation and having a strong industrial base here in the valley. And we’ve got excellent air quality and excellent water quality,” said Chris Hamilton, Chairman, WV Business and Industry Council.

No votes on the environmental legislation are scheduled yet.

“Of course environmental issues are more than just about clean air and clean water, they are highly political, too. We’ll see how much impact they have in the 2020 elections,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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