CHARLESTON – Tucker County resident Ed Watson was tapped by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Thursday to join the Public Water System Supply Study Commission. Watson and three other designees will serve on the commission, part of W.Va. Senate Bill 373, the Water Resources Protection Act, signed into law in April.
“I am anxious to get started,” Watson told The Parsons Advocate Thursday. “I am just waiting to see what the next step will be. Being appointed comes with lots of responsibility and I want to do a great job.”
Watson said he typically is not involved in the goings-on in Charleston.
“Usually when I deal with folks in Charleston, I am seeking a permit of some sort,” Watson said. “This will give me a chance to help with a coordinated response in case of another emergency. When the recent spill contaminated our water, there was no plan to deal with that in place. We will help make sure we are not caught unprepared.”
Watson, a native West Virginian who grew up in Jane Lew in Lewis County, said he cares about public safety. He attended Dartmouth College and the University of Montana.
“But when I finished school, I came home to West Virginia,” Watson said. “Before joining the Canaan Valley Institute, I worked as a hydrologic technician for the U.S. Forest Service.”
Watson has been employed with Canaan Valley Institute since 2001. There, he works on stream restoration and back stabilization design and construction. He is experienced in developing flood model and warning systems for rural, flood-prone communities in W.Va.
Watson said he works directly to restore the regions’ watersheds, and in his spare time, he teaches high school students and professionals various elements of hydrology and geomorphology through CVI education programs.
When he first joined CVI, his work included developing a flood model and warning system for a rural, flood prone community in Wetzel County. Since then, he has studied under and assisted Dr. Dave Rosgen and conducted numerous stream studies and restoration projects. Among the more notable are approximately two miles of Horseshoe Run in Tucker County, Blacks Run in Harrisonburg, Va., some 6000 feet of the Cacapon River in Hardy County and three fish passage projects for the WV DNR on tributaries of the Upper Shavers Fork. He is currently engaged in mitigation projects in the farthest reaches of West Virginia.
Others appointed by Tomblin to serve on the Commission include Rick Roberts, P.E., who will serve as a professional engineer experienced in the design and construction of public water systems; Dr. Mike McCawley, who will serve as an environmental toxicologist or other public health expert familiar with the impact of contaminants on the body; and citizen representative Pam Nixon.
The governor’s appointees will join the commission’s statutory members and those members appointed by Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim Miley. Statutory Commission members include Randy Huffman, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection; Dr. Letitia Tierney, Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health; Jimmy Gianto, Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; and Mike Albert, chairman of the Public Service Commission.