Curtis Tate Published

More Than 300 Streams Missing From State’s Polluted List, EPA Says

Calm water reflects the fall foliage and clear sky in a scene along the Elk River.
The Elk River is on an EPA list of impaired streams.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 More than 300 streams are missing from a state database of polluted waterways.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified 346 streams in West Virginia that don’t meet water quality standards under the federal Clean Water Act, totaling 1,600 miles.

They are missing from a list the Department of Environmental Quality must submit every two years to the EPA.

They include portions of the Guyandotte, Elk, Gauley, Big Coal, Little Kanawha, Tug Fork, Tygart and South Branch Potomac rivers, as well as Davis Creek near Charleston.

According to the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the DEP uses an outdated methodology to measure biological impairment in rivers and streams.

The EPA is taking public comment on the issue through Oct. 18.