Department of Environmental Protection

Energy & Environment
4:32 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

DEP’s Interactive Gas Well Map... Is Getting More Interesting

Screen shot from West Virginia DEP's interactive oil and gas wells map. Horizontal wells are marked red.
Credit Department of Environmental Protection

The latest figures from the Department of Environmental Protection indicate that there are upwards of 400 horizontal well pads in West Virginia. Sounds pretty straight-forward. What does that mean? How many more will there be?

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Environmental Regulations
10:50 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The DEP's Three Categories of Above Ground Storage Tanks

Credit AP

When the legislature passed Senate Bill 373, they mandated the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection create a program to register and inspect all above ground storage tanks, something the state had never done before.

The bill came in response to January's chemical spill in Charleston that left 300,000 people without drinking water for days, but for months storage tanks owners have been left with only some vague guidelines about having their tanks registered and inspected by the dates mandated in law. 

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Legislation
4:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Groups Working with Governor, DEP to Avoid Special Session on Tank Bill

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Stakeholders met with the governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Protection Friday to discuss possibly calling the legislature into a special session. The session would be focused on fixing some unintended consequences both Senate and House leadership see in the above ground storage tank bill passed earlier this year.

Friday’s meeting was the second this week focused on Senate Bill 373, legislation that came as a response to January’s chemical spill in Charleston. The spill contaminated 300,000 people’s drinking water for as many as ten days.

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Nature
10:01 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Photos Sought for W.Va. Wildflower Calendar

Credit Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

Wildflower photos are being sought for West Virginia's next "Roadsides in Bloom" calendar.

The state departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation are sponsoring the 12th annual West Virginia Operation Wildflower calendar photo contest. 

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Mine Permit
7:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

DEP Says Not Enough Evidence Will Harm Appeal Against Kanawha State Forest Mine

Members of the Kanawha Forest Coalition stood outside the DEP's Kanawha City office to oppose the mine permit.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Surface Mine Board has finished hearing testimony in the appeal of a mine located next to the Kanawha State Forest.

In the second day of hearings, board members heard testimony from the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, employees of the DEP and a consultant who helped write the mine permit, among others.

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Inside Appalachia
5:14 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Ky Pastors Share Thoughts on Same Sex Marriage, an Addict's Advice, Korean ex-POWs and more

Kentucky pastors sound off about gay marriage.

A former addict urges drug courts to address the roots of addiction.

The America Legion says the VA is a system worth saving.

 

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Rallies planned
9:39 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Groups Prep for EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing

Credit www.mine-engineer.com

Given the political climate around the EPA’s proposal, it seems unlikely that state lawmakers would have a policy without coal. Still, the United Mine Workers of America says workers and their families should be concerned about this new regulation. Groups from West Virginia and across Appalachia are gearing up to show support and protest of the EPA’s proposed rule.

Groups like the United Mine Workers of America and Coal River Mt. Watch are traveling to Pittsburgh later this week.

As it stands, the EPA rule would let states come up with their own energy policy on how to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Given the political climate, some environmentalists worry it will be business as usual for the coal industry leaving little room for renewable energy. After all, lawmakers in states like West Virginia and Kentucky aggressively and consistently favor coal in speech and policy.


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Chemical Leak
5:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

DEP Tank Registration Program Opens

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection recently opened its online tank registration program. Tanks meeting specific guidelines must be registered by October 1.
Credit AP

Recently, an overflow of water from a trench at the Freedom Industries tank site in Kanawha County reached the Elk River. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection issued two notices of violation to Freedom for the incident. But while that tank site is being monitored regularly, the DEP is also beginning to focus attention on a whole bunch of other aboveground storage tanks too, that aren't receiving as much attention. Ben Adducchio has more.

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Environment
11:22 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Was This Fayette County Waste Pit Leaking?

Credit Jessica Lilly

Danny Webb Construction began shutting down above ground pits last month in Fayette County that held oil and gas waste. The waste likely came from horizontal drilling operations.

In a more recent development, the DEP says a tank that was holding some of that waste, leaked during the process, but was cleaned up.

Concerned citizens have been expressing concerns with this particular operation for years.

Environmental groups ran some tests last year and while results have turned up inconclusive, it still raised red flags.


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Job Loss Conerns
11:19 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

UMWA Joins Coal Industry to Oppose EPA Regs

Jimmy Rose singing to the coal miners at Alliance coal in Henderson, KY.
Credit Facebook.com

The United Mine Workers of America is joining the coal industry in a rare occasion to oppose proposed regulations meant to curb carbon emissions.  The industry worries the regulations will financially cripple coal’s economy, as well as West Virginia and everyone dependent on a coal job.

With 95 percent of the energy produced in West Virginia coming from coal fired power plants, many within the industry feel the state will be the hardest hit by the new proposal.

Roger Horton, a retired miner from Logan County paints a grim picture already evolving in coal country.

He sees an EPA ignoring its economic impact on countless coal mining families.

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Tygart Lake State Park
11:50 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Mine Operator Proposes Alternate Shaft Location

Credit WVDNR Photo

A coal mine operator has proposed an alternate location for a ventilation shaft near Grafton's Tygart Lake State Park after residents and park visitors complained.

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Chemical Spill
11:15 am
Wed May 28, 2014

West Virginia Storage Tank Website Up and Running

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

Members of the public now have full access to comments collected by the state Department of Environmental Protection on a newly passed law. That law requires the DEP to create a regulatory program for above ground storage tanks in order to protect the state’s water.

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Chemical Safety
11:27 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Transparency is Key in Aboveground Tank Rulemaking, Expert Says

Evan Hansen, Downstream Strategies
Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

  The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced last week that they are seeking public input on what should be included in the rules to regulate aboveground storage tanks. The director of a Morgantown-based environmental consulting firm is hoping to be able to see who is submitting ideas, and what those ideas are.

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West Virginia Morning
8:21 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Solutions for Ending Population Decline, DEP's Public Comment Process, & Richwood's Ramp Revival

With an expected population decline and negative stereotypes surrounding young people who choose to stay in the state, we hear a few proposed solutions for the issue. Evan Hansen of Downstream Strategies talks about the Department of Environmental Protection's public comment period for above-ground storage tank regulation. Also, Richwood sees a revival with their annual Feast of the Ramson.

    

Chemical Spill
7:21 am
Thu May 1, 2014

EPA to Gauge Safety of Inhaling MCHM

Credit AP

  Months after a chemical spilled into 300,000 West Virginians' water source, federal officials want to determine at what level people can safely breathe the chemical's fumes.

Over the next few months, the Environmental Protection Agency will work on detecting crude MCHM in the air and creating a safety standard for inhaling it.

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Environment
10:44 am
Mon April 28, 2014

WVU Faces Fine for Waste Violations

Credit Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

State regulators have proposed a $33,380 fine for West Virginia University for violating hazardous waste storage practices. The fine stems from an inspection by the Department of Environmental Protection last September. A proposed DEP consent order says the violations include failing to mark the date of accumulation on a container of hazardous waste, and failing to keep containers closed except when adding or removing wastes.

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Water Spill
3:39 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

WV DEP Seeking Public Comments on Storage Tank Regulation Rules

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public input as it prepares to write new regulations on storage tanks.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection wants public input on what should be included in the rules to regulate aboveground storage tanks, according to an agency release.
 
The release says as a requirement of the newly passed Senate Bill 373, also known as “The Water Resources Protection Act,” and to others simply as “The Tank Bill,” the agency must draft rules for a new Aboveground Storage Tank Regulatory Program in time for lawmakers to consider them during the 2015 legislative session.

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Energy & Environment
2:02 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Cease Orders for Two Antero Sites in W.Va. Lifted

Credit Antero Resources

 Antero Resources can resume operations at two drilling sites where water storage tanks ruptured recently.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has lifted orders requiring Antero to cease operations at the well pad sites in Doddridge and Harrison counties.

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Chemical Spill
4:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Freedom Industries Submits Site Remediation Plan

This photo from the Chemical Safety Board shows the holes in the Freedom Industries tank that allowed the January 9 spill into the Elk River.
Credit @chemsafetyboard / Twitter

Freedom Industries has submitted its remediation plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to address environmental conditions at the company’s Charleston storage tank facility. The facility was the site of the Jan. 9 chemical spill of MCHM and PPH into the Elk River. 

The site remediation plan was developed by Civil & Environmental Consultants, a Pennsylvania-based firm also responsible for Freedom's tank decommissioning plan submitted to the DEP in March. It includes a summary of water quality sampling and remedial measures Freedom Industries has already implemented at the spill site.

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Fracking Safety
2:44 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Water Tanks Explode at Doddridge County Well Site

Credit Antero Resources

State regulators are investigating the rupture of two water tanks at an Antero Resources well pad in Doddridge County.

The Department of Environmental Protection says its inspectors believe the rupture was caused by a buildup of pressure in the tanks.

The rupture occurred Friday at Antero's Marsden well pad. No injuries were reported.

Antero chief administration officer Alvyn Schopp tells The Exponent Telegram that the tanks are used to hold water that's separated from gas extracted at the drilling site.

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