Pocahontas Water Resource Group Refocuses Under Direction Of New Vista
Marlinton, WV – Vista volunteer Lynmarie Knight is re-energizing the Pocahontas County Water Resources Task Force, a community group that had stagnated a bit following the departure of former Vista volunteer Damin Altizer. She took over the Vista position in February and met with task force members in Marlinton last week. Knight, along with Beth Little and Pocahontas County Commissioner David Fleming, put together an EPA Environmental Justice grant application and should know by mid March whether the grant has been approved.
Last year, prior to Knights arrival, the group had decided to work with environmental consultant Downstream Strategies on developing a water management plan for the county. But task force member Dennis Egan told Knight he has reservations about the consultants experience concerning ground water. Representatives from Downstream Strategies will be invited to the next meeting of the task force to give an update on their previous proposal.
Knight says the task force members agree that the first goal to accomplish is to determine what the water resources are in the county and then take it from there. The state is also working on gathering similar information. Marlinton Mayor Dennis Driscoll says he received notification that the WV Dept of Health has hired Tetra Tech, Inc. to update source water protection plans, previously completed between 2001 and 2005.
Dennis Egan says the task force should concentrate on water quantity rather than quality in this first phase. And he suggests any information gathered should be vetted by an outside academic source. Knight says she’ll also look for other water plans specific to rural areas that could be used as a guide for the task force.