Save the Elk River

  • by: Eric Olmstead, none
  • recipient: Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Governor, West Virginia Governor's office
The Elk River is a diverse stream that supports a myriad of species and is now in danger due to a proposed treatment plant at it's headwaters.This must be stopped as well,due to the historic nature of the proposed site.

It is my wish as a voting american that the state of West Virginia stops the actions being taken by the Pocahontas County Public Service Commission in conjuction with Intrawest/Snowshoe to the proposed sewage treatment plant at the Big Spring of the Elk river on the property of the Sharp family's historic family farm in the town of Slatyfork.

The proposed site is on sensitive karst topography, within the hundred year flood zone, and the effluent discharge will be at the Big Spring of the Elk river which is habitat for the imperiled Cambarus Elkensis, a cray fish as well as native reproducing brook trout and wild reproducing brown and rainbow trout. Within this same eco-system one can also find the endangered Cheat Mtn. Salamander as well as the endangered West Virginia Northen Flying Squirrel. This area is part of the same dynamic cave system that is home to the endangered Indiana Bat as well.

The field that the proposed site will be built on is also known to be an encampment for Gen. Robert E. Lee's army during his first campaign of the civil war.At this site there are three known buried civil war soldiers as well. This site has an even deeper history with the Native American community as there have been artifacts such as a burial pendant found there.Some of the artifacts found date back to 7700 B.C.

The other problem with this site is the lack of room for a cooling pond for it's effluent nor any positive solutions for the toxic sludge disposal. Nor is there enough room for any type of settling troughs for full filtration of solids within the effluent. The effluent will also contain phosphorous which there are no current regulations for within West Virginia DEP guidelines.So heat, sediment and phosphorous will be poured at the rate of 1.5 million gallons a day into the Elk river. These three things are known to destroy cold water watersheds and organisms contained therein.

The other problem which exists is the fact that the site is being forcibly taken by law of eminent domain by the Pocahontas county PSD in conjuction with Intrawest corp.This farm has been in the Sharp family for generations and is directly three hundred yards downwind of the Sharp family Bed and Breakfast.

Based on these facts this petition is being submitted with intentions of stopping this proposition by Pocahontas County PSD and Intrawest corp. and their interest in building a sewage treatment plant in Pocahontas County.Furthermore we would like to be sure that if another site is chosen an extensive environmental impact study be submitted for review which did not happen with the currently proposed site.

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