Energy & Environment

Oil and Gas Industry
4:32 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

DEP’s Interactive Gas Well Map... Is Getting More Interesting

Screen shot from West Virginia DEP's interactive oil and gas wells map. Horizontal wells are marked red.
Credit Department of Environmental Protection

The latest figures from the Department of Environmental Protection indicate that there are upwards of 400 horizontal wells in West Virginia. Sounds pretty straight-forward. What does that mean? How many more will there be?

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Industry
12:33 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Influence Game: Chemical Trade Tries to Shape Regulations

Credit AP

The powerful chemical industry is putting its lobbying muscle behind legislation that would establish federal standards for compounds used in products from household goods to plastic water bottles. But the industry-favored bill would also make it tougher for states to regulate chemicals.

Many states already have acted on their own - and that's what's gotten the industry's attention.

The American Chemical Council, a trade group, spent nearly $6 million on lobbying in the first half of the year, the most recent reporting period.

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Energy
9:22 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Appalachian Power Expands Energy-Saving Programs in W.Va.

Appalachian Power has expanded its energy efficiency programs for West Virginia businesses.

Officials say changes to the programs are making it more flexible than previous energy efficiency programs for commercial and industrial customers.

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Conservation
3:10 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Party at Coopers Rock, Here's Why

View of the Cheat Canyon from Coopers Rock State Forest
Credit Emily Corio

A ceremony at Cooper’s Rock State Forest just outside of Morgantown celebrates the conservation of 3,800 acres of the Cheat River Canyon dedicated as a state Wildlife Management Area.

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Energy & Environment
1:47 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Va. Officials Announce Opposition to Dominion Pipeline

Credit Dominion

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors has gone on record as opposing a proposed $5 billion natural gas pipeline.

The News & Advance reports that the board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve a resolution opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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Energy & Environment
12:42 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Longview Power Seeks OK to Settle Pollution Suit

Longview Power Plant.
Credit longviewpower.com

Longview Power has asked a bankruptcy judge to allow it to settle a lawsuit alleging pollution violations by two subsidiaries.

The federal lawsuit alleges that pollution discharges by Coresco and Mepco exceeded their permits. It also says other pollutants were discharged without a required permit.

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Environmental Regulations
10:50 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The DEP's Three Categories of Above Ground Storage Tanks

Credit AP

When the legislature passed Senate Bill 373, they mandated the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection create a program to register and inspect all above ground storage tanks, something the state had never done before.

The bill came in response to January's chemical spill in Charleston that left 300,000 people without drinking water for days, but for months storage tanks owners have been left with only some vague guidelines about having their tanks registered and inspected by the dates mandated in law. 

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Possible Job Loss
9:28 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Patriot Coal Gives Possible Layoff Notice to Miners, Again

Credit Patriot Coal

Patriot Coal is warning hundreds of miners at a Southern West Virginia mine operation that they could lose their jobs. According to a release, Patriot issued the WARN notices at the Corridor G mining complex near Danville.

Pursuant to the WARN Act, the Company gave 60-day notice of potential layoffs to all employees that could be affected.  Patriot warned miners at the same mine, along with others, of possible layoffs back in April 2014.

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Energy
11:31 am
Mon September 8, 2014

First of Three Gas Wells Goes Online at WVSU Campus

Credit Steve Shaluta / W.Va. Department of Commerce

  West Virginia State University expects to save $100,000 a year by using natural gas underneath its campus.

One of three natural gas wells planned on the school's Institute campus began production last week. The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Spencer-based Reserve Oil & Gas is drilling the second well. The third well is expected to be drilled by the end of the year.

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Energy & Environment
10:45 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Trans Energy Faces Criminal Charges for Pollution

Credit Trans Energy, Inc.

Oil and gas company Trans Energy Inc. faces federal criminal charges for releasing natural gas drilling materials into streams.

An information filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Wheeling alleges the St. Marys-based company lacked permits to dump into streams. The charges are misdemeanors.

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Energy
9:20 am
Thu September 4, 2014

W.Va. PSC Sets Hearings on Electricity Rate Hike Request

  State regulators will hold public hearings in October on two FirstEnergy subsidiaries' request for a $151.4 million rate increase.

Monongahela Power and Potomac Edison submitted the request to the Public Service Commission in April. The proposal was amended in June to add costs associated with reading customer meters.

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Energy & Environment
7:46 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Morrisey Joins Other Attorneys General to Urge Quicker Ruling on EPA Emissions Lawsuit

Credit epa.gov

  Twelve state attorneys general are urging an appeals court to decide quickly on a lawsuit over the legality of proposed carbon emission standards.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced the motion Wednesday at a news conference in Ashland, Kentucky.

Wednesday's filing in U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia asks for a quicker timeline on a lawsuit saying the federal standards should be thrown out.

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Natural Gas
2:46 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Dominion Announces Partnership to Build W.Va. Pipeline

Credit Dominion

Dominion Resources officially announced a new partnership Tuesday that will pump billions of cubic feet of natural gas a day out of West Virginia. That is if a federal regulatory commission approves the project.

The nearly $5 billion project has Dominion Resources teaming up with North Carolina’s Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas as well as Atlanta-based AGL Resources to lay 550 miles of pipeline.

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Energy & Environment
10:40 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Yeager Airport Board Explores Solar Panel Project

Credit @yeagerairport / Twitter

  Yeager Airport officials are exploring a project that could make the airport the first in the nation to run entirely on electricity it generates from solar panels.

The Charleston Gazette reports that members approved a motion to find the lowest bid on the project at a board meeting Thursday.

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Environment
10:23 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Freedom Industries Eyes Voluntary Cleanup Program

Credit AP

  Freedom Industries is considering trying to enter a state program to help ease cleanup at the site where a chemical spill polluted the Charleston area's water supply.

The company and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection met last week to discuss whether the site is eligible for the agency's Voluntary Remediation Program.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the move that could result in Freedom having to meet less-stringent contamination standards than under existing enforcement orders.

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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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