CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A sustainable way to fill up your water bottle has come to the busiest and largest airport in the state.

As a commitment to sustainability and passenger convenience, West Virginia International Yeager Airport partnered with West Virginia American Water to install a number of water bottle filling

Dominique Ranieri

stations at all passenger gates throughout the terminal.

Officials from both services came together at the airport Friday morning for an unveiling ceremony of the new filling stations.

Yeager Airport President and CEO Dominque Ranieri said when it comes to helping reduce plastic waste and support the planet’s health and well-being through the placement of these stations, CRW is happy to take the lead.

“Here at CRW we know how important it is to concentrate on the environment and sustainability, and all airports really need to focus on that moving forward to be good stewards of our planet,” Ranieri said.

West Virginia American Water President Robert Burton said the initiative to bring water bottle filling stations to organizations, schools, parks and other public places has been their focus for a few years now throughout American Water’s service areas across the state.

He said they felt they would be a significant benefit at the airport as well, as they continue to expand their sustainability efforts.

Robert Burton

“One, it’s important to get out the message of safe, reliable drinking water at your tap, but also it’s important to protect our environment, remove plastics as much as possible by the way stream,

and this is a great partnership here at the airport in this regard,” said Burton.

Ranieri said passengers now have access to three water bottle filling stations post-security as well as one in the ticket lobby and throughout the gate areas of the airport.

She explained what to expect when coming through the terminal with the empty bottles.

“You can come to the TSA checkpoint with an empty water bottle and once you pass through security you can fill your water bottle at any of the West Virginia American Water refill stations, also at each station is some beautiful artwork by a renowned photographer here in West Virginia,” she said.

Ranieri said at each filling station there is a counter which keeps track of exactly how many plastic water bottles they are avoiding by having passengers utilize the stations.

Burton said ecotourism was a driving factor that also led them to bring the filling stations to the airport as people seek out ways for a more sustainable life and eco-friendlier travel options.

He said the ultimate goal– decrease the usage of plastic water bottles that potentially leave long-term, damaging affects on the environment.

“The majority of plastics take many years, decades, sometimes centuries to bio-degrade, there’s a major issue of plastic in our water streams, within our rivers, within our lakes and within our oceans, so anything we can do collectively together to remove plastics out of our way stream is really important and this is a very sustainable way to do that,” Burton said.

Ranieri said as American Water aims to expand its sustainability efforts by providing the filling stations to its partners around the state, it only made sense for them to come to CRW as the initiative will reach a lot of people there.

Yeager Airport’s Wildlife Life Canine Hercules, American Water’s Puddles the Duck

“We know that we have half a million people passing through our airport each year, and it’s a great opportunity to share their initiatives and help people have drinking water wherever they are,” Ranieri said.

Yeager Airport’s Wildlife Patrol Dog, Hercules and American Water’s mascot Puddles the Duck were both on hand for Friday’s ceremony as well. They helped greet passengers and distribute reusable water bottles and pilot-themed rubber ducks as people were leaving or coming in.