Downstream Strategies

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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West Virginia Morning
9:40 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Harvard and Syracuse Map Air Benefits, WVU and Downstream Strategies Evaluate EPA Rules, & More

Together, Harvard and Syracuse Universities have released a study that maps potential air quality benefits based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions reductions revealed this month. WVU’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development is working with Downstream Strategies on a new report to advise policy makers as they draft strategies to submit to the EPA. Also, A Brooklyn-based theater company will bring a play to Charleston in response to the Elk River Chemical Spill. 

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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 Leak
4:01 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Hearing on Capitol Hill Considers Lessons Learned from Elk River Chemical Spill

Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works had a hearing Thursday in Washington that focused on improving chemical safety. Committee members heard about the recent water crisis in the Kanawha Valley from a West Virginia expert.

Panelists included representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Chemical Safety Board as well as authorities from communities that have witnessed recent chemical strife.

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House of Delegates
6:09 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Downstream Strategies Issues New Water Protection Report to Judiciary Committee

Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen presents a new report to the House Judiciary Committee.
Credit Aaron Payne

Senate Bill 373 relating to water resources protection was sent to the House nearly one month ago to go through three committee stops. Two weeks ago the bill made it through the Health and Human Resource Committee with amendments to be sent to the Judiciary Committee. Wednesday, the second committee used its meeting to hear from Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen.

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Solar Energy Options
10:20 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Solar Talks Take Place in Wheeling and Morgantown

Alternative Energy
9:54 am
Fri January 31, 2014

West Virginia Needs More Solar Jobs, Report Says

West Virginia University competed in the Solar Decathlon last year, which report authors say should help raise the profile of solar energy in West Virginia.
Credit West Virginia University

A new report by two independent organizations says West Virginia is lagging behind in bolstering solar energy programs and providing solar energy jobs.

The report points out surrounding states are benefiting from past investments into this renewable energy technology.

Two groups that support sustainable economic development, Downstream Strategies and The Mountain Institute, teamed up to compare West Virginia’s solar energy job growth to surrounding states.

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Chemical Leak
8:00 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Found Formaldehyde Begs Basic Questions, Expert Says

Marc Glass is a principal researcher in charge of evaluation and remediation of environmental contamination in soil and water for the environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies. He’s been testing water samples for private residents affected by the Elk River chemical spill. While his results haven’t turned up any traces of formaldehyde, it is something they’ve been testing for.

How long did the Freedom tank leak?

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Chemical Spill
1:42 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Downstream Strategies Pres. Critical of Governor's Proposed Source Water Protection Act

Gov. Tomblin wants legislative approval of his proposed act, that would among other things, require public water systems to compile source water protection plans.
Credit Scott Finn / Twitter: @radiofinn

The President of Downstream Strategies is in Charleston presenting his organization’s report on the Elk River chemical spill to lawmakers. Meanwhile, lawmakers are debating a proposal from Gov. Tomblin. Hansen is concerned about some aspects of the bill.

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The Legislature Today
7:06 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Judiciary Chairs Sen. Palumbo & Del. Manchin React to Picture of W.Va. as 'Anti-Regulation'

The House Judiciary Committee holds an informational meeting to hear more about the chemical spill and hears recommendations from Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen, the Governor's legislative agenda pushes through the Senate, the House passes a bill to create a West Virginia Day of Prayer, and Judiciary Chairs Sen. Corey Palumbo and Del. Tim Manchin respond to arguments that West Virginia is "anti-regulation."

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

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West Virginia Morning
10:56 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Gov. Tomblin Outlines Bill to Strengthen DEP, Consultants Critique Chemical Safety Bill, & More

Governor Tomblin explains proposed legislation to protect water supplies from potential chemical leaks,  the House of Delegates passes a bill that increases penalties for littering and honors the life of former Delegate Joe Talbott, environmental consultants Downstream Strategies critique proposed legislation that hopes to prevent another water crisis, and the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind updates their curriculum and allows some students to attend on a temporary basis.

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Chemical Spill
3:02 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Downstream Strategies: New Regulations Are Only First Step to Prevent Future Spills

Graphic Detailing the Elk River zone of critical concern, from Downstream Strategies' new report.
Credit Downstream Strategies

Downstream Strategies President Evan Hansen has worked on a report called "The Freedom Industries Spill: Lessons Learned and Needed Reforms." Hansen says new regulations on storage facilities, like the one involved in the Elk River spill, are only a first step towards prevention.

Hansen also suggests:

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Chemical Spill
12:43 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Noon Newscast on West Virginia Water Emergency: Beth Vorhees, Ashton Marra, & Dave Mistich Report

Major questions remain in the chemical spill from Freedom Industries, Inc. in the contamination of West Virginia American Water supplies across nine counties. West Virginia Public Broadcasting news director Beth Vorhees interviews Mark Glass from Downstream Strategies, Ashton Marra reports on the recent press conference at West Virginia American Water, and Dave Mistich gives a run down of activity on social media.

Stream the audio above to find out the latest from our Charleston news bureau and be sure to follow @wvpublicnews.

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9:54 am
Fri November 1, 2013

West Virginia Morning - November 1, 2013

Credit Huntington Prep Website

One in five West Virginians are seeing a reduction in food assistance, Downstream Strategies takes a critical look at the water-use data provided by natural gas drillers in the past couple years to the state Department of Environmental Protection, and Huntington Prep's basketball team enters their season with high expectations.

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Oil and Gas
11:46 am
Wed October 23, 2013

How much do we know about drilling horizontal wells?

The Horizontal Well Control Act of 2011 required studies be conducted to gain a more profound understanding of all that's entailed in the natural gas drilling that's sweeping northern West Virginia. Those reports are coming due, and legislators are hearing from scientists who have been looking into the matter.

Two major reports are being discussed in Charleston this week. One looks at air and noise pollution, while another considers water use related to Horizontal Well drilling.

1. Air and Noise

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