Energy & Environment

A Canadian energy company is paying $200 million to take over a long-planned wind project in West Virginia’s Grant County.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly talks with Concord University president Dr. Kendra Boggess who was the first in her family to attend college.  And Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn are along with the Mountain Stage song of the week. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Coal operator Alpha Natural Resources is seeking to eliminate health and other non-pension benefits for more than 4,500 non-union retirees.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha says in a recent bankruptcy court filing that the benefits cost it about $2.7 million in 2014 and represent a liability of about $125 million.

Chris Light / en.wikipedia

A company official says a burst pipe caused an ammonia leak at a northern West Virginia factory that makes frozen treats.

Wednesday's leak at the Ziegenfelder plant in Wheeling prompted the factory to be evacuated. WTOV-TV reports at least three workers who had breathing problems were treated at a hospital and released.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit University hosted a panel discussion this week about the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The new rule seeks to reduce carbon emissions in the US by 37 percent by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.

Former Patriot Coal workers have begun applying for jobs with Blackhawk Mining.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk will take over six of Patriot's mining complexes in West Virginia later this week. Blackhawk was the winning bidder for the majority of Patriot's assets.

Doddridge County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Antero plans to build a plant in Doddridge County that will treat wastewater from natural gas drilling.

Vice president of finance and administration Al Schopp says construction is expected to begin sometime during the first quarter of 2016.

Forestwander Nature Photography / wikimedia commons

West Virginia researchers are asking trappers and hunters to donate bobcat carcasses.

They say the carcasses are needed to help them collect data on bobcat populations in the state. The Bobcat Ecology Research Project is in its second and final year of data collection.

Bed Bug
Patho / wikimedia commons

In a move to keep bed bugs out of classrooms, a Charleston elementary school has banished book bags in favor of sealed plastic bags.

When students arrive at Chamberlain Elementary School on Monday, they'll put their coats and their books in 10-gallon plastic bags. They'll zip up their bags and stow them in their lockers.

pipeline construction
Emmuzka / wikimedia commons

Energy companies have formally filed with federal regulators to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through southern Virginia.

Mountain Valley Pipeline announced Friday it applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the pipeline from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Pittsylvania County, located in Southside Virginia.

wikimedia commons

West Virginia public health officials have lifted an advisory warning of potential risks associated with an algae bloom in the Ohio River and some of its tributaries.

The advisory that ended Tuesday was issued Sept. 4 for public water systems and the public.

Clark Davis

A nonprofit organization and Marshall University are teaming up to provide training in environmental remediation jobs.

The Coalfield Development Corporation and the university's Center for Environmental, Geotechnical and Applied Sciences announced the two-year initiative Monday.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia environmental officials want to hear from the public on federal emissions regulations.

The Exponent-Telegram reports that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is accepting public comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan through the end of the year. The comments will help guide the department on a plan aimed at complying with the federal rule in West Virginia.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia has joined Ohio and Pennsylvania in an effort to grow the shale gas industry on a regional level. An agreement solidifying that partnership was signed Tuesday, Oct. 13, in Morgantown.

The agreement spells out four main areas that the three states will work together on to grow the natural gas industry: Marketing, workforce development, infrastructure and research.

courtesy of Mike Breiding

Researchers at West Virginia University are looking for clues about West Virginia's climate history -- by combing through old journals of naturalists who spent time in the state's forests and hills.


The Culture Center on the West Virginia Capitol Complex has been evacuated after construction crews struck a high pressure gas line. 

Metro 911 dispatchers say the leak was reported at 11:51 a.m. and the gas company is on site. Dispatchers also report that the leak occurred on the Capitol Complex across from the Exxon gas station at the corner Washington and Greenbrier Streets. The leak has been stopped and it is currently being monitored by the gas company.  

Greenbrier Street is closed from Washington Street East down to Kanawha Boulevard, including Virginia and Quarrier Streets and Franklin Avenue. 

Drill cuttings dumped at WV landfill.
Bill Hughes

There are lots of federal regulations governing what businesses can legally dump into water, the ground, or release into the air. But the gas industry is getting around a lot of those regulations. The oil and gas industry enjoys exemptions from seven federal laws, including one that is supposed to protect human health from the hazards of waste disposal. Other states have passed their own laws regulating this waste to compensate. But it’s a looser system in West Virginia.

water meter
BrokenSphere / wikimedia commons

  West Virginia American Water is converting its meters statewide to an automated system.

The company announced the $17 million project Thursday as part of an effort to quickly locate water meters and read them accurately.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

Update: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 11:45 a.m.

Current models estimate the diluted discharge will reach Hagerstown, Maryland by October 3 and Harpers Ferry by October 10. Rain may alter the projections. The discharge is expected to continue to flow downstream and become diluted.

Washington's Top News reports the spill is not expected to impact the Washington, DC area's water supply. The full impact of the spill is still being investigated by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Andrea Booher / Wikimedia Commons

In July, the United States House of Representatives voted on House Resolution 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. It passed the House and has now moved on to the Senate. If passed into law, it would create a federal voluntary labeling standard for genetically modified foods or those with genetically modified ingredients. Labeling would also be regulated by the FDA. Here in West Virginia, there’s been some talk and show of concern from some over this bill, including a group in the Eastern Panhandle.