Energy & Environment

Industry
9:42 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Long-Awaited U.S. Rule on Coal Dust to be Announced

Credit AllVoices.com

  Top federal labor and mine safety officials are heading to West Virginia to release a long-awaited final rule on coal dust.

The announcement will be made Wednesday in Morgantown. Among those attending will be U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, John Howard, will also discuss the new rule.

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Fire Closes Trail
8:00 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

National Park Service Battling New River Gorge Fire

A fire has been burning in the New River Gorge National Park since Sunday. The fire has closed the Endless Wall Trail.
Credit Erin Board

The National Park Service at New River Gorge National River reports that rangers at the Glen Jean station have been fighting a fire in the park since Sunday night.

Updated Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

 

Firefighters are continuing with their efforts to contain the Fern Creek Fire located in the Endless Wall area of New River Gorge National River.  Officials with the National Park Service said Tuesday morning that the fire burned 69 acres Monday, bringing the current total to approximately 84 acres since it was first reported. In addition to NPS staff, personnel from the from the Mount Hope Fire Department and the Midewin Hot Shots,  a 20-person interagency wildland firefighting crew, hosted by the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois are currently working to put out the fire.

 

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Energy & Environment
2:02 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Cease Orders for Two Antero Sites in W.Va. Lifted

Credit Antero Resources

 Antero Resources can resume operations at two drilling sites where water storage tanks ruptured recently.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has lifted orders requiring Antero to cease operations at the well pad sites in Doddridge and Harrison counties.

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Natural Gas Drilling
5:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Energy Corporation of America Won't Pursue UIC Project In Preston Co.

Credit Energy Corporation of America

Energy Corporation of America says they won't be planning to put an underground injection well in Preston County, following months of investigation into the project by the company.

ECA was looking to turn an old natural gas well near Masontown into a Class II Underground Injection Well. That would have essentially taken water from hydraulic fracturing processes and injected it in the ground there.

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Wildlife
2:14 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

New River Bald Eagle Hit by Train and Vehicle Dies

Credit JaGa / wikimedia Commons

A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.  Three Rivers Avian Center executive director Wendy Perrone says the eagle, named Streaky, was euthanized Monday after she failed to regain the use of her legs and her liver shut down.

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Accident
9:57 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Cars on Coal Train En Route to Va. Derail in W.Va.

Credit AllVoices.com

  Crews are cleaning up after a dozen cars of a coal train destined for export from Virginia derailed in southern West Virginia. A spokesman for Norfolk Southern Corp. says the cars derailed late Tuesday in Rock, which is located in Mercer County. The 12 cars were among 180 being hauled to Norfolk to be exported.

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9:46 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Are New Regulations Tough Enough to Prevent Another West Virginia Chemical Spill?

Lead in text: 
West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Ashton Marra and The New Yorker's Evan Osnos spoke with Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour about January's Elk River chemical spill. Both Marra and Osnos field questions about whether or not the spill has changed the paradigm in relation to the politics of industry in the state and whether or not recently passed legislation will prevent a similar event in the future.
  • Source: Pbs
  • | Via: PBS NewsHour
Myanmar, rocked by civil strife, has been kept isolated from the world for more than half a century. In recent years, however, the government has been proposing democratic reform and peace treaties with ethnic groups, prompting the U.S. to lift most sanctions.
Natural Resources
1:55 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Harrison Co. Residents Busted for Possession of Too Many Trout

Color Plate Brook Trout from American Fishes by Goode and Gill (1903)

Two Harrison County residents have been fined for exceeding the state's trout possession limit following the discovery of more than 300 trout in their home.

The individual limit for possessing trout is 12.

The Division of Natural Resources says 70-year-old Michael Earl Fetty and 46-year-old Tammy K. Fetty of Wallace caught trout in Curtisville Lake and Huey Run Lake nearly daily. The trout were kept in a freezer in their home.

DNR officers discovered 321 trout in the home last month during an investigation.

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Environment
12:07 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Cheat Canyon Property Bought by Conservation Groups

The canyon is about 1000 feet deep, entirely forested, and well-known for its whitewater. Director of the WV Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Rodney Bartgis says the area is also interesting because it’s home to some rare and endangered earthlings such as the Cheat threetoothed snail, and the Indiana Bat.

A segment of the Cheat Canyon will become a state wildlife management area and a nature preserve.

The 3,800-acre property stretches about 7 miles from Albright's outskirts to a segment of Sandy Creek in northern West Virginia.

The Conservation Fund and the Nature Conservancy bought the property from The Forestland Group. The conservation groups plan to transfer the property to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources over the next two years for establishment of a wildlife management area.

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Chemical Spill
4:14 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Freedom Industries Submits Site Remediation Plan

This photo from the Chemical Safety Board shows the holes in the Freedom Industries tank that allowed the January 9 spill into the Elk River.
Credit @chemsafetyboard / Twitter

Freedom Industries has submitted its remediation plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection to address environmental conditions at the company’s Charleston storage tank facility. The facility was the site of the Jan. 9 chemical spill of MCHM and PPH into the Elk River. 

The site remediation plan was developed by Civil & Environmental Consultants, a Pennsylvania-based firm also responsible for Freedom's tank decommissioning plan submitted to the DEP in March. It includes a summary of water quality sampling and remedial measures Freedom Industries has already implemented at the spill site.

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Natural Gas Drilling
2:31 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

WV DEP Investigating Tank Rupture in Doddridge County

A tank ruptured at a gas drilling site last week in Doddridge County.
Credit wikimedia

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is still investigating the cause of a tank rupture at a gas well site in Doddridge County last week.

A tank ruptured at an Antero Resources gas drilling site last Friday, causing a small blast. Although no injuries or fire were reported, investigators are trying to figure out what exactly happened. The tank was holding hydraulic fracturing flowback water, says DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater.

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Chemical Leak
7:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Wastewater from Freedom Spill Sent to Ohio, North Carolina

Credit AP

Wastewater containing a chemical that spilled into the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians is heading to Ohio and North Carolina.
 
State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says Freedom Industries started sending wastewater to an Ohio underground injection control well site this week.
 
The material was vacuumed out of Freedom's tanks and the Elk River. Freedom was storing it at its Nitro facility.
 

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Volunteers welcomed
2:16 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Boy Scouts and Others To Plant Chestnut Trees at Reserve

Consol Energy Bridge, Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, Mt. Hope, WV.
Credit wikimedia commons

Boy Scouts at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Mount Hope will conduct a chestnut tree planting April 19. 

The American Chestnut Foundation says the Scout Reserve is located near the center of the American chestnuts’ historical range in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Volunteers will plant several hundred potentially blight resistant chestnut trees provided by the foundation near the west end of the Consol Energy Bridge.

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Utilities
1:28 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

West Virginia American Water Ordered to Remain in Projects

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

State regulators have ordered West Virginia American Water Company to continue participating in a series of local water extension projects.
 
Monday's ruling by the Public Service Commission came on a complaint filed by five public service districts and several other local agencies. The complaint alleged that West Virginia American Water improperly withdrew from partnerships to expand water service in various areas of the state.
 

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WNPR's Where We Live
1:01 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Update on West Virginia's Elk River Chemical Spill

Elk River, Charleston West Virginia

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:22 am

In January, West Virginia’s Elk River was contaminated by a chemical spill from a nearby coal processing plant, affecting 300,000 local residents. People were without water for days. Now months later, is the water safe to drink? 

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Recycling
11:42 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Event Service Organization Aims For Zero-Waste Future

Recent Pumpkin Drop event at West Virginia University where Green Earth Event Services diverted hundreds of pounds of waste from landfills and instead sent it to feed pigs at a nearby farm.

Zero-waste events--that’s the goal of one start-up organization in Morgantown. Green Earth Event Services was founded by Morgantown resident Garth Lindley in 2011. The organization provides recycling and composting services and Lindley says that while there's a learning curve among public they interact with,  he's surprised by the overall enthusiasm he receives wherever the organization sets up.

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Chemical Leak
10:07 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Report: Freedom Industries President 'Bears No Fault' in January Spill

Credit Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An attorney says the president of a company that spilled chemicals into 300,000 West Virginians' water supply "bears no fault" for the incident.
 
Gary Southern of Freedom Industries on Friday withdrew an application to get paid for work already completed during bankruptcy proceedings. He wanted Freedom and its insurance to cover his legal fees.
 

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Politics
3:35 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

W.Va. Delegation Joins Gov. Tomblin in Opposition of Cuts to Black Lung Clinics

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of West Virginia's congressional delegation have joined Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in questioning a sharp drop in federal funding for the state's black lung clinics.
 
State officials say grants for the federal Black Lung Clinic program were recently capped without notice at $900,000 per state. West Virginia had been the only state to receive more than that annually. The state received $1.4 million last year.

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Mine Safety
12:05 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Four Years After UBB: Families of Victims Say It Is Still 'Us' vs. 'Them' in West Virginia Mines

Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Four years after an explosion at the Upper Big Branch killed 29 miners and injured two others, an investigation by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin continues to examine the practices of executives at then-owner Massey Energy. The mine’s current operator, Alpha Natural Resources, has established Running Right, a leadership academy focused on empowering miners to address safety concerns.

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Home Repair
11:43 am
Fri April 4, 2014

They Are Trying To Change The World--One Basement System At A Time

Colin Reger (left) and Randy Shillingburg (right) examine the crawl space in a house.
Credit Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It's dark. It's damp. It's your basement, or crawl space. And for some people in Clarksburg, it's a labor of love to go down there and find ways to improve energy efficiency.

Basement Systems of West Virginia does work to improve the energy efficiency of homes by encapsulating crawl spaces. That means they take materials, similar to pool liner, and other things to create what they call “clean spaces.”

It’s their hope to improve conditioning and energy efficiency in these dim, dark places.

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