Energy & Environment

West Virginia American Water

West Virginia American Water crews have once again responded to a leak in Dunbar.

Water crews are performing an emergency shutdown on a 36-inch water transmission main in Dunbar so that repairs can be made to a new leak that developed today. Crews are working to dig up the area and determine the new issue. It’s not yet been determined when the repairs might be finished.

Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Ground is being broken for a stream restoration project in Logan County.

Ecosystem Investment Partners and Canaan Valley Institute have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the project site on Copperas Mine Fork.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

Drilling is set to begin in West Virginia in what is being billed as the first long-term field study of shale drilling for natural gas.

Northeast Natural Energy of Charleston is scheduled to drill Friday in Morgantown.


Carmen Champagne

If you spend any time outside these days, chances are you might be encountering some tiny black bugs. Lots of people mistake them for ticks, but they are actually Yellow Poplar Weevils. Agriculture officials say they're damaging poplar trees across West Virginia. 

 

Overview of Cranberry Glades and Cranberry Wilderness, Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia
Jaknouse / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has identified more than 600 animals and 400 plant species as having the greatest conservation need in the proposed 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan.

The Register-Herald reports the proposed 10-year plan is now out for public comment through July 15 and can be found online.

Wildlife Resources Section chief Paul Johansen says the plan is a roadmap that will guide the agency and partners in making future habitat conversation recommendations in the state.

Data by SNL Energy / Data Visualizations by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The following data and article is the result of collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy. To see related stories from SNL Energy on this topic, please click here. 

University of Kentucky Geological Survey

Members of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition gathered the public Monday night in Westmoreland, near Huntington, to discuss the Rogersville Shale.

The forum was designed to inform the public of a newly discovered shale formation, the Rogersville Shale. The shale is concentrated in Calhoun, Roane, Jackson, Kanawha, Putnam, Lincoln, Wayne and Cabell counties in West Virginia, but also extends into Kentucky. Dianne Bady is with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Downstream Strategies

Two organizations issued a report this week that details how West Virginia can meet the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a new rule meant to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

  Chesapeake Energy is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that alleges it took oil and gas from a property without a lease agreement with the owners.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register reports that six nonprofit groups in Wheeling sued the company in federal court in Wheeling on May 1. The lawsuit says Chesapeake incorporated 224 acres jointly owned by the groups in Ohio County in two pooled drilling units it formed without leasing the property.

Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill this week that calls for the creation of 10 natural gas pipeline corridors through federal lands within 2 years of the bill’s passage.

The committee passed HR 2295, also known as the National Energy Security Corridors Act, on a vote of 21-15, essentially along party lines. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., sits on the Natural Resources Committee and voted for the bill. Rep. David McKinley, also R-W.Va., co-sponsored the bill.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

  Solar coops in Wheeling and Morgantown are looking for proposals from solar companies to install panels on their homes.

Residents in Wheeling and Morgantown are banding together to buy solar panels in bulk discounts for their homes and businesses. So far there have been 73 sign ups into the Wheeling coop and 86 in Morgantown. Ben Delman from the organization that is facilitating the coops, Community Power Network,  reports that of those interested, about 24 homes in Wheeling and 50 in Morgantown are suitable for solar panels. Both co-ops will be open to new members through the summer.


David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A section of West Virginia Route 92 in Greenbrier County has reopened following a tanker truck wreck that blocked the road.

The Greenbrier County Sheriff's Office says the truck ran off the road, hit a tree and jackknifed, blocking the road. Both the truck and the tanker caught fire.

http://www.murrayenergycorp.com/

Murray Energy Corp.'s Monongalia County Coal Company has announced its Monongalia County Mine will resume underground mining operations.

The Dominion Post reports the company made the announcement Friday. The mine, which was formerly Blacksville No. 2, will begin operating on a partial production basis on Monday.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

Despite statements from industry officials and political leaders, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials say their new study of the nation's natural gas boom should not be described as proof the nation's water supplies are safe from hydraulic fracturing.

The Charleston Gazette reports the EPA's science adviser and deputy administrator Thomas A. Burke says the message of the report is that vulnerabilities in the water have been identified and they are important to know about and address to keep risks as low as possible.

Associated Press

Federal officials plan to recommend the National Academy of Sciences review a series of studies that have found residents living near mountaintop removal mining operations face increased risks of serious illnesses and premature death.

American Electric Power
American Electric Power

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are set to raise rates 2% to cover rising fuel expenses.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A country that has already invested more than $12 billion in the United States sent its ambassador to West Virginia Friday looking for possible future investments in the Mountain State.

Qatar Ambassador to the U.S. Mohammed Al-Kuwari was invited and escorted on the visit by Sen. Joe Manchin, making stops at the Advanced Technical Center at BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Dow Chemical, and meeting with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Al-Kuwari said his country has already made a commitment to invest more than $35 billion in the U.S. over the next several years in the energy sector as well as in technology, real estate, tourism and education, and Sen. Manchin wants at least some of those dollars to come to West Virginia.

WCHS TV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protect has closed down a mountaintop removal mine site located near a state forest in Kanawha County and is now blocking the mine operators from receiving new permits anywhere in the country. 

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A judge is letting a lawsuit continue against a utility and a chemical producer over a chemical spill that sullied 300,000 people's tap water.

In Charleston federal court Wednesday, Judge John Copenhaver denied most dismissal motions by Eastman Chemical, West Virginia American Water and its parent company, American Water Works.

The judge tossed or partially dismissed a few counts.

wikimedia Commons / user: Brianhayden1980

A judge has denied a variety of motions by ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to get charges dropped in his criminal case.

In Beckley federal court Wednesday, Judge Irene Berger rejected nine of Blankenship's motions to dismiss.

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