Energy & Environment

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups are taking legal action to require the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to treat water pollution at bankrupt coal mines in Barbour, Nicholas and Preston counties.

News outlets report that West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club filed two lawsuits in two federal courts on April 20. The plaintiffs accuse West Virginia of violating the Clean Water Act by allowing excessive amounts of pollutants to discharge from the abandoned coal mine sites.

Berkeley Springs High School
MrGPS / Wikimedia Commons

Berkeley Springs High School has been singled out for its environmentally friendly practices.

The U.S. Department of Education named the school as a Green Ribbon School.

Clarksburg Superfund Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public meeting for a hazardous waste site in Clarksburg that could be added to the federal Superfund program's priority list.

The Exponent Telegram reports city manager Martin Howe says the May 24 meeting will be at the North View Fire Station.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and natural gas industry executives have met with Japanese business leaders to discuss investment opportunities.

A Tomblin news release says executives from Energy Corporation of America and MarkWest Energy Partners joined for the meeting Friday in New York City.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

A group of Ben Franklin Career Center students has been assembling solar panel kits that will bring electricity to Navajo homes.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the six students spoke at a presentation Thursday at Ben Franklin about the kits.

West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection has submitted a feasibility study to West Virginia lawmakers. The study focused on the state’s ability to meet proposed federal carbon emission regulations, and it was required by state law.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

The U.S. Senate passed national energy reform legislation this week for the first time in nearly a decade.

The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 includes amendments were offered up by Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore-Capito of West Virginia that aim to help coal be a competitive energy source into the future.  

West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University has a full day of activities planned for its Earth Day celebration on April 25.

The university says the celebration starts at 9:30 a.m. and is to include presentations, movie screenings and exhibitors, including electric cars on display in front of the James C. Wilson University Union. The events are free and open to the public.

@yeagerairport / Twitter

Officials say a plane flying from New York to Tennessee made an emergency landing in West Virginia after striking a bird.

News outlets report the 57 passengers onboard the Delta flight had an unexpected layover Thursday at Charleston's Yeager Airport.

Coal Stock Pile

A Wyoming County mine that was idled on Monday after a contract dispute is back in business.

Peabody Energy
Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

  Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal miner, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

The filing comes less than three months after another from Arch Coal, the country's second-largest miner, which followed bankruptcy filings from Alpha Natural Resources.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers /

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for volunteers to work at Burnsville Lake.

The corps says volunteer jobs could include giving tours, mowing, cleaning the grounds and facilities, string trimming and staffing a visitor center.

A federal judge in Washington has ruled that the U.S. Interior Department was wrong when it removed the site of the Blair Mountain labor battle from the National Register of Historic Places.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Monday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted a motion for summary judgment sought by groups that challenged a 2009 decision that Blair Mountain should be delisted.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller
State of West Virginia / State of West Virginia

Former U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller says whether a Republican or Democrat wins the White House won't make a difference in the big picture of West Virginia's hurting coal industry.

The Democrat spoke Friday at the National Energy Conference at West Virginia University's College of Law. The event discussed the industry's issues and options to move the struggling state forward.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A report published this week says an oil and gas wastewater disposal site in West Virginia is leaking chemicals that can harm fertility in animals.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller
State of West Virginia / State of West Virginia

Former Sen. Jay Rockefeller is delivering the keynote address at a national energy conference at West Virginia University this week.

The university said the conference will look at the effect of the global energy transition on coal communities in West Virginia and central Appalachia.

Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

An ice business north of Beckley went up in flames, requiring three crews to extinguish the blaze.

The Register-Herald reports Home City Ice caught fire around 9 a.m. Monday, and all employees were evacuated safely.

Illegal Dumping
Σ64 / Wikimedia Commons

Volunteers are working to clean up areas of Mercer County, and have found massive sites of illegal dumping.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that volunteers are now 10 days into the 40-day campaign. County commissioner Greg Puckett says there has been a "tremendous" response.

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

There's a new member on the state's Board of Education. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced the appointment of Keyser-native Scott Rotruck early this month. Rotruck fills a vacancy left by Wade Linger who resigned from the board, citing the current makeup of the state Legislature as his reason for leaving.

Rotruck has worked for decades in the energy sector and has spent a lot of time as an energy lobbyist in Charleston. He spoke with West Virginia Public Broadcasting about a range of topics from his educational philosophy, to climate change, to how he plans as a board member to deal with tension between the board and lawmakers.

Williams Ohio Valley Midstream has paid a $14,440 settlement to the federal government after leaking a natural gas component into three Ohio Valley waterways. 

The company paid the fine to the Environmental Protection Agency after 132 barrels of natural gas condensate leaked from its Moundsville pipeline.