Energy & Environment

Environment
2:44 pm
Sat October 18, 2014

EPA Debuts Air Monitoring System at Freedom Spill Site

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The Environmental Protection Agency has begun air monitoring at an industrial site in Charleston that fouled public drinking water supplies to 300,000 customers in January.

Unveiled Friday, the monitoring will be done at the Freedom Industries plant along the Elk River to determine if any chemicals are released into the air as the site is cleaned up.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the program's debut comes three weeks after the removal of more than one dozen chemical storage tanks.

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West Virginia Morning
8:15 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Revitalizing the Economy of Southern W.Va. and Studying Natural Gas

 Senate President Jeff Kessler announced the creation of SCORE, Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing their Economy, Thursday. The program will send a group of senators to the southern part of the state to hear from citizens about what they can do to revitalize the area's economy.

A West Virginia transplant in Doddridge County moved here to enjoy the rural area, but soon after, saw well pads being placed within sight of her home. Now, she invites scientists, students, and even reporters to come study the health affects of the activity from her home.

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Oil and Gas Industry
3:21 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

‘WV Host Farms’ Offers Researchers Birdseye View of Gas Drilling

Before/After screen capture of the Mark West Plant, a major mid-stream gas processing plant that's in the middle of construction in Doddridge County.
Credit courtesy of WV Host Farms

For a couple of years now an organization that bubbled up in Doddridge County has been teaming with scientists to try to get a better handle on the impacts of horizontal drilling and the ancillary processes that support it. WV Host Farms brings together landowners, researchers, students, and news reporters to take a close look at what is locally referred to as “ground zero” of Marcellus Shale fracking.

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Elk River chemical spill
10:51 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Above Ground Storage Tank Public Hearing Set for Thursday

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will conduct a public hearing Thursday evening on the  draft interpretive rule for the Aboveground Storage Tank Program.

The new program is a requirement of Senate Bill 373, which passed the West Virginia Legislature in March after the January 9th chemical spill in Charleston contaminated drinking water.

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Energy & Environment
4:22 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Feds Cite Patriot Coal in Fatal Boone County Mine Accident

Federal mining officials are citing Patriot Coal for serious violations during a severe coal burst that killed two miners in May.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration issued three citations Tuesday for the Boone County mine accident.

Citations say Patriot didn't adequately protect miners from hazards, report a similar burst three days earlier or preserve evidence about the earlier burst.

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Environment
8:46 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Eastern Panhandle Farmers Express Concern Over Proposed Storage Tank Regulations

Terry Polen, West Virginia DEP Ombudsman, explains the proposed aboveground storage tank regulations to farmers and businessmen in the Eastern Panhandle.
Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After a chemical spill contaminated the drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians, state lawmakers passed a bill to regulate above ground storage tanks in the hopes of preventing it from happening again. Just a few weeks ago, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection released some guidelines for tank owners on how to interpret that law until their inspection program is finalized later this year. The DEP held an informational meeting in Martinsburg yesterday to hear the concerns of tank owners and collect comments on their new program.

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Oil and Gas Industry
9:23 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

4th Annual Oil and Gas Expo Sees More Environmental and Safety Vendors

The 4th annual Oil and Gas expo took place yesterday in Morgantown. Over 2000 attendees and 300 vendors met to discuss trade business.

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Oil & Gas
8:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Well Water Contamination Possible After Drilling Mishap

Credit "HydroFrac2" by Mikenorton - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HydroFrac2.svg#mediaviewer/File:HydroFrac2.svg

Drilling for shale gas went wrong last week when operators accidentally drilled into one of their own wells that was engaged in production. The result is possibly contaminated drinking water from at least 12 homes.

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Air Quality
10:26 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ways to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Save West Virginia Lives

A study just released explores projected health co-benefits of reducing carbon emissions. It indicates that each year, the lives of 50 West Virginians could be saved but, only if certain policies are adopted.


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Environment
10:32 am
Tue September 30, 2014

W.Va. Envrionmental Regulators Brace for Tank Registration Deluge

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State regulators are expecting a deluge of last-minute above-ground storage tank registrations.

A new state law requires owners to register above-ground storage tanks by Oct. 1. State officials estimate up to 80,000 tanks could meet the law's registration requirements.

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Mine Accident
1:32 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

State Cites Patriot Coal in Mine Accident

State mining officials are citing Patriot Coal for serious violations during a severe coal burst that killed two miners in May.

The enforcement action by the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training says the mine did not have proper support in its walls and roofs.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Survey: West Virginia Weighs in on Climate Change

Credit NASA

Our climate is changing. True or False ...and what else?

In light of recent climate change events, we'd like to get an idea of what our communities know and believe about the matter.

Please take and share this short survey widely to help us find out what folks in our region are thinking about climate change. We'll let you know the results in a future post.

Thanks!

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Energy & Environment
11:23 am
Tue September 23, 2014

W.Va. Gets Pipeline Safety Inspection Repayment

In December 2012, a natural gas pipeline ruptured in Sissonville and destroyed homes and damaged the roadway of Interstate 77.
Credit National Transportation Safety Board

West Virginia's pipeline safety program will receive nearly $453,000 from the federal government.

Congressman Nick Rahall announced the grant Monday from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. More than $47 million is being distributed in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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Energy & Environment
11:16 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Drillers Using More Sand, Water for W.Va. Wells

Credit wikimedia

Energy companies are using more water and sand to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Marshall and Ohio counties.

A new report by research firm Wood Mackenzie says companies working in what's called the "wet gas window" of the two counties are using up to 10 million gallons of water for each project. They're also using 13 million pounds of sand.

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Inside Appalachia
5:15 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mixed Feelings About Gas Industry Growth in West Virginia, Exploring What's in a Virginia Name

WVDEP's drilling map
Credit Department of Environmental Protection

  

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Natural Resouces
3:53 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

A Call to Help Wipe Out Invasive Species

Natural Gas
12:33 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Groups Oppose Oil, Gas Drilling Under Ohio River

Credit Office of the Governor

Environmental and citizen groups are urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to rethink leasing land under the Ohio River for oil and natural gas drilling.

In a letter Wednesday, Ohio and West Virginia groups expressed concerns that the state won't sufficiently safeguard against releases that could harm water supplies.

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Oil & Gas
3:53 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

What is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline?

Possible route of the proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Credit Dominion Resources

A series of informational gatherings are underway about a proposed 550-mile gas pipeline called the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion Resources is sponsoring the events.

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Investigation
1:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

WV DEP Doesn't Know Source of Sheen on Kanawha River, Says It's Not Harmful

Credit Anthony Lewis / WSAZ

Updated on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

WCHS-TV reports that DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency's emergency response unit checked out the sheen, and believes it is possible it came from a boat, but the agency likely will never know the source for certain.

The DEP doesn't believe the sheen poses any threat to the public, according to their report.

Gillenwater told West Virginia Public Broadcasting that the nearest public drinking water intake is in Huntington along the Ohio River.

Original Post from Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 1:32 p.m.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is investigating an oily substance on the Kanawha River, according to WSAZ-TV.

The Charleston television news station reports Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman says the origin of the substance--and how much of it is present--is currently unknown. 

Sigman says the substance spans the length of the boat dock at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston and there isn't enough of the substance to require a full remediation effort. 

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Chemical Spill
10:24 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Hearing for Elk River Chemical Spill Lawsuit Set for Sept. 2015

  A lawsuit against a water company, chemical producer, airport and others over a January chemical spill won't get a hearing for another year.

The consolidated lawsuit that targets West Virginia American Water, Eastman Chemical, Yeager Airport and others has a hearing for a motion on class certification on Sept. 25, 2015.

Judge John Copenhaver filed the schedule earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

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