As a citizen of West Virginia, there are many ways you can interact with Department of Environmental Protection to help us promote a healthy environment. This page will introduce you to the WV DEP and show you some of the ways you can get in touch with us. We also have many different channels to help you in the loop as to what is happening with DEP and how it affects you.
Knowledge is power, and we're here to help. WVDEP offers guidance, tools, and notifications for activities that impact you and our environment.
Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a standardized system to provide the public with timely and easy-to-understand information on local air quality and whether air pollution levels pose a health concern.
Energy efficiency means using less energy to accomplish the same task. The idea is to eventually reduce our energy consumption and demands without diminishing our quality of life. Becoming more energy efficient will save you money, reduce pollution and ease energy demands within the economy.
Open Burning: Burn Safely and Legally
Know the law about open burning. Open burning is illegal. Open air burning is a sort of tradition, but every time we burn outdoors, we contribute to air pollution in our area. Whether it's waste from yards, home, businesses, or land-clearing, it all adds up to unhealthy air.
- Describe what a public hearing is, why it is important, and why someone may want to attend.
- How do I know about a public hearing in my area / that affects me?
- Brief into to DEP mailing lists
- Describe what typically goes out in a public noice and why someone may want to receive them.
- How do I sign up to receive public notices?
See more ways to stay informed...
Education and Outreach
Division of Air Quality Education and Outreach
Due to their complexity, air quality issues are often difficult to convey. In 2006, the Division of Air Quality formed an "outreach" team to explore more contemporary ways of communicating with the public. The team includes personnel from all sections and job classifications of the agency. Expenditures are paid for from the DAQ's Air Pollution Education and Environment Fund, funded by enforcement settlements.
WVDEP manages many programs that allow citizens to get involved and contribute to the enviornmental health of our state. The following list highlights some of these programs:
The Adopt-A-Highway Program is co-sponsored by the Division of Highways and the Department of Environmental Protection. It was established in the late 1980s under the DNR (now a REAP Program) to improve the quality of our environment by encouraging public involvement in the elimination of highway litter. Its objective is to save taxpayers money by increasing public awareness and to serve as an educational tool by focusing on the consequences which result when littering is allowed to continue unchecked. The program offers volunteers the opportunity to take charge of their environment by making a positive effort to create a cleaner, more aesthetic place in which to live.
Nonpoint Source Program
The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program is part of WVDEP's Watershed Improvement Branch (WIB). WIBs mission is “To inspire and empower people to value and work for clean water”.
West Virginia's Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program coordinates multi-agency and non-government organizations efforts to address nonpoint pollution by:
- Providing assistance in the proper installation and maintenance of best management practices
- Supporting citizen based watershed organizations
- Supporting partners whose activities relate to nonpoint issues
- Restoring impaired watersheds with nonpoint abatement projects
Stream Partners Program
This program is a grant program created to support the efforts of the local watershed volunteers. A Stream Partner is a community-based organization comprised of local citizens, industry, environmental groups, sportsmen, local government, and landowners that are interested in improving the quality of life in and around their stream and watershed.
WV Save Our Streams
The mission of WV Save Our Streams (SOS) is to promote the preservation and restoration of our state's waters by providing an understanding of their ecological integrity. This mission is accomplished by conducting workshops, training volunteers on how to monitor their local wadeable streams and rivers.