Energy & Environment

EPA Limits Use Of Problematic Herbicide Dicamba

Oct 16, 2017
Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley Resource

The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to some limits on the use of a controversial herbicide called dicamba, which farmers throughout the region have blamed for crop damage. A change to the label on the chemical will restrict sales of dicamba to certified users. 

Boordering western Pennsylvania, the landscape of eastern Ohio is changing, literally. Stretches of hillsides are being cleared of trees, to make way for well pads and pipelines.

The oil and gas industry is starting to take a front seat in what’s traditionally been rural coal country. As in Pennsylvania, some people are excited about the new industry. But others are concerned that there’s not enough regulation in place to protect waterways, and other aspects of the environment, from potential harm.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Late last week, President Trump announced the federal government would stop Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies, which the White House argues are illegal.

While the move affects just a small slice of the overall insurance market, it's been met with widespread opposition from health advocacy groups, who say it’s an attempt to further destabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets.

Federal Regulators Approve Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipelines

Oct 13, 2017
Pipeline awaits construction.
SETH PERLMAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines, major East Coast projects.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authorization had been widely expected by both supporters and opponents of the pipelines. The certificates granted by the commission came with dozens of conditions, and other necessary permits for both projects are still pending.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building in Washington, D.C.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Federal environmental regulators say they have again found signs of potentially troubling levels of toxic contamination at a former mining equipment operation in West Virginia.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to support the struggling coal industry. The Department of Energy is also pushing a new way to subsidize coal power. But a new study suggests market forces — not regulations — will still make more coal power plants in the region vulnerable.

Wikimedia Commons

Technology now in limited use removes about 90 percent of carbon dioxide from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, but energy experts say cost remains the chief obstacle to bringing the "clean coal" touted by President Donald Trump into the mainstream.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used a trip to Kentucky coal country to announce the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle a regulation that sought to limit carbon pollution.

John Deskins, director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research
WVU / WVU

West Virginia University's chief economist says the state is on the rebound but will have relatively weak growth in the next five years.

Bipartisan Bill Would Prop Up Coal Miners’ Pensions

Oct 4, 2017
Becca Schimmel

A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region.

 

Fire, Forest FIre
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

Updated on Thursday, October 19 at 3:37 p.m.

A nearly 200-acre wildfire that began almost 20 days ago in Grant County is now 70 percent contained. Some areas in the Monongahela National Forest are still closed to visitors.

Over 80 firefighters have worked to improve firelines and contain the North Fire that began on October 2 in a remote area of Grant County. The wildfire is located about 12 miles west of Petersburg in the Monongahela National Forest.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our series featuring people who are struggling to stay or leave Appalachia continues. We’ve been following the story of Dave Hathaway, a former coal miner in Pennsylvania.

Last week, we heard about Dave’s struggle as an unemployed father of two trying to hold onto his dignity while his wife works. He and his wife are committed to staying in Greene County, even though the job choices are thin. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier has our next installment of Dave’s Struggle to Stay story.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

West Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will not support the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the federal agency in charge of mine safety. 

 

National Park Service

Five West Virginia counties will see federal funding to support improvements to their outdoor facilities.

Nearly $800,000 in federal grant money has been awarded to facilities in Tucker, Summers, Wayne, Marshall and Berkeley counties.

Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

West Virginia wildlife officials say an online interactive map with information about hunting and fishing around the state has been updated.

Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel says the map at www.wvdnr.gov can be useful for hikers and boaters as well.

Golden Rainbow Trout, Trout
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Some lakes and streams in West Virginia will receive special stockings of golden rainbow trout next year.

The Division of Natural Resources says the releases will be held in early April to lead off the spring trout stocking season.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the hurricane season’s super-charged storms highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and it’s not just a concern for the coasts. Scientists warn that heavy rain events have become more common in the Ohio Valley. Glynis Board looks at how some flood-prone communities are preparing for what experts call “the new normal” of extreme weather.

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, geologic studies indicate West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the East Coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Liz McCormick reports, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use.

Tuscarora Elementary School, Geothermal
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We hear a lot about coal and natural gas in West Virginia - even solar and wind. But what about geothermal energy? Science indicates West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the east coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Well, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use…like in a handful of public schools.

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