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Feb 13, 3:01 PM EST

West Virginia Senate votes against tougher pollution limits


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's Senate has approved legislation that would prohibit state environmental regulators from setting more stringent water pollution limits than federal benchmarks.

The bill, approved unanimously on Tuesday, also authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to adjust discharge permits to reflect the amount of sewage or waste contained in the water coming into a facility's intakes.

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition says the measure, improved from an earlier version, would require the DEP to develop rules, probably this spring, that account for pollution coming into an industrial facility to determine its allowed discharges.

The environmental group says the bill would also require the state agency develop guidance on determining the effectiveness of practices to control runoff from industrial sites.

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