Energy & Environment

Chemical Spill
4:18 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

West Virginia to Study Elk River Fish Life After Chemical Spill

Credit AP

  The state will survey fish life in the Elk River after a massive chemical spill polluted the waterway in January.

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Fish Health Laboratory in Leetown will aid the state Division of Natural Resources in the project next week.

The Freedom Industries spill contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 people for days.

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Chemical Spill
1:39 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Airport, Chemical Company Want Spill Lawsuits Dismissed

Credit AP

An airport and a chemical producer want claims dismissed in a lawsuit partly targeting them over a January chemical spill.

In U.S. District Court in Charleston, Yeager Airport filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss claims in the wide-spanning lawsuit. Plaintiffs say the Charleston airport's now-complete runway project contributed to the spill that left 300,000 residents without clean water for days.

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Mine Permit
7:51 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

DEP Says Not Enough Evidence Will Harm Appeal Against Kanawha State Forest Mine

Members of the Kanawha Forest Coalition stood outside the DEP's Kanawha City office to oppose the mine permit.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Surface Mine Board has finished hearing testimony in the appeal of a mine located next to the Kanawha State Forest.

In the second day of hearings, board members heard testimony from the Director of the Division of Natural Resources, employees of the DEP and a consultant who helped write the mine permit, among others.

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Energy & Environment
9:45 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Marshall Commission OKs Power Plant Agreement

The Marshall County Commission has approved an agreement for a proposed natural gas-fired power plant.

Under the agreement, the commission would own the 549-megawatt plant and lease it back to Moundsville Power to operate. Moundsville Power would pay about $1 million annually to the county over 30 years in lieu of property taxes.

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Energy & Environment
8:26 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Watch: The DEP Surface Mine Board's Hearing on Kanawha Mine Permit Appeal

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

 

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will live stream the second day of the Surface Mine Board’s hearing regarding the appeal of Keystone Industries’ KD No. 2 mine permit, which is for a surface mine near Kanawha State Forest. The hearing started on Aug. 11 and resumes this Wednesday, Aug. 20, beginning at 8:30 a.m.  

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Infrastructure
2:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

City Council to Hear Morgantown Truck Traffic Proposal

Recent photo of heavy trucks traveling through downtown Morgantown.
Credit Safe Streets Morgantown / https://www.facebook.com/SafeStreetsMorgantown

Morgantown City Council will meet to discuss amending traffic code to address heavy trucks traveling through the downtown business district.

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Chemical Leak
1:41 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Investigations into January Chemical Spill Continue

Now disassembled Freedom Industries tank farm that leaked into the Elk River on January 9, 2014.
Credit AP

The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is holding a discovery conference on Monday, August 18th in its ongoing investigation of West Virginia American Water's response to the January 9th chemical spill.

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Oil and Gas Industry
11:45 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Illegal Fracking Practices Identified in W.Va., Pa.

Credit Baker Hughes

An environmental watchdog non-profit just released a report identifying companies who are using diesel fuel in their horizontal drilling fluids. Apparently, that’s illegal without a special permit.


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Energy & Environment
1:35 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Group Asks EPA to Strip State Authority on Injection Wells

  The National Resources Defense Council is asking federal environmental officials to strip the state's authority over underground injection wells for fracking waste.

Council attorney Matthew McFeeley made the request in a letter Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency's regional administrator.

The letter says injections occurring at two West Virginia wells are illegal and unauthorized, and both have expired permits.

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Politics
4:02 am
Wed August 13, 2014

In The Supposed 'War on Coal', West Virginia and Kentucky Parallel on Mining Jobs, Politics

Credit AllVoices.com

The "war on coal" is a phrase that's increasingly popular in Central Appalachia politics. With declines in coal jobs and new rules from the EPA to target carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the words become hugely political--especially during an election year.

But the phrase's validity certainly begs question, at least according to a recent article by Erica Peterson of WFPL in Louisville.

Just last week, Peterson--who began her career as a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting--detailed the ups and downs of Kentucky's coal jobs back to the Reagan administration beginning in 1981, examining the loss or gain of coal mining employment within that state across presidencies. What she found was, that if a war on coal exists in Kentucky, the blame goes farther back than President Barack Obama. 

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Coal Panel
10:29 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Congressional, Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges in Coal Industry

Attorney Genreal Patrick Morrisey, Va. Congressman Morgan Griffith, Congressman Nick Rahall and Sen. Joe Manchin participated in the event.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Members of Congress, state government and industry representatives gathered in Bluefield Tuesday for the Bluefield Coal Symposium. The annual event gathers leaders to discuss the major issues facing the industry.

On the panel were Congressmen Nick Rahall and Morgan Griffith of Virginia, state Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Rainey and Alpha Natural Resources Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs Gene Kitts. Sen. Joe Manchin served as the moderator.

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Elkhorn Regional Water Project
9:26 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

McDowell Residents Closer to Safe Water

Credit Daniel Walker

Residents in several McDowell County communities are one step closer to safe, public water. The Elkhorn Regional Water Project will replace two water systems that date back about 70 or 80 years. 

Listen to hear more from the construction zone.

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Economy
12:30 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

West Virginia Coal Company Expects 280 Layoffs

Credit AllVoices.com

  A coal company has announced plans to lay off 280 workers at mines in southern West Virginia.

Coal River Mining and Coal River Processing filed a 60-day layoff notice Tuesday for five mines. Four mines would be idled, while one has already been idled.

The facilities are in Alum Creek and Julian.

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Energy & Environment
12:12 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

New Natural Gas Pipeline Planned for West Virginia, Ohio

Credit Columbia Pipeline Group

 A company is planning a $1.75 billion project that includes laying 160 miles of natural gas pipeline in West Virginia and Ohio.

Columbia Pipeline Group announced the investment in a news release Tuesday. The proposal would help transport up to 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

Columbia expects to start construction in fall 2016 before putting the pipeline in service in the second half of 2017. It will support natural gas development in western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

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Mountain Top Removal
6:42 am
Tue August 12, 2014

The Three Reasons Residents are Appealing the KD Mine No. 2

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Surface Mine Board held the first of at least two hearings focused on Keystone Indutries’ KD Mine No. 2 Monday. The mine is located just 1,500 feet from the edge of the Kanawha State Forest in Kanawha County.

Tom Rist, a Fayetteville attorney, argued the case of a few residents of Middle Lick Branch Road, a small community of four or five homes located just across the street from the forest.

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News
8:24 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Watch the DEP Surface Mine Board Hearing Live

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's Surface Mine Board is holding a hearing Monday focused on the appeals of Keystone Industries' KD Mine No. 2. The mine sits just 1,500 feet from thed edge of the Kanawha State Forest.   

Seismology
8:21 am
Mon August 11, 2014

W.Va. Sees Growth in Seismic Monitoring Stations

Credit Seicer / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia has undergone significant growth in the number of seismic monitoring stations in the state.

The Charleston Gazette reports that 14 stations have been installed in the past year. Previously, there was only one in the state in Monongalia County.

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Chemical Spill
8:14 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Claims Growing Against Fizzled W.Va. Spill Company

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Thousands of agencies, businesses and people are trying to squeeze millions of dollars out of the bankrupt company behind West Virginia's chemical spill in January.

Case claims agent James Lane says Freedom Industries can expect about 5,000 groups to request money in bankruptcy claims over the spill. The total sought has topped $170 million and is growing.

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Infrastructure
9:50 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Department of Highways Weighs In On Proposed Morgantown Heavy Truck Ban

Credit Safe Streets Morgantown / via Facebook

As efforts to limit heavy truck traffic in Morgantown’s downtown district continue, the WV Department of Highways is weighing in on who has jurisdiction over road regulation. 


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Water Resource Management
5:21 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Watching Over Water: Researchers Pool Resources

Pictured, are, left to right: Dr. Bruce Dickson of the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Dr. Benjamin Stout of Wheeling Jesuit University, Dr. Elisabeth Dakine of Duquesne University and Melissa O'Neal of the West Virginia Water Research Institute. These researchers just collected a commemorative first sample from the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh's Point State Park.
Credit WVU

Citizen and university researchers involved in monitoring water quality at 54 sites on the upper Ohio River basin will gather for a first-of-its kind conference on Monday, Aug. 11, at Duquesne University.


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