Energy & Environment

Harry Schaefer, Environmental Protection Agency / wikimedia Commons

This week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to freeze implementation of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan while a broader lawsuit moves forward. West Virginia’s Attorney General, who is among those leading the charge against the carbon regulation plan, said the decision was a “monumental win.”


pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

Lawmakers are considering a change to the way natural gas accidents are reported at the state level.

The House Industry and Labor Committee took up a bill Tuesday that clarifies who is alerted in the event of an accident on a natural gas well site or pipeline.

Muskie
BenitoJuarez98 / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia fish biologists are tracking the movements of muskies in a project that could help boost hatchery production for the species.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports researchers have implanted transmitters into the fishes' bellies to follow their upstream and downstream migration.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

In a booming speech, Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray called for a deep cut to a state coal mining tax possibly offset by higher taxes on tobacco, alcohol, professional services and natural gas production.

Murray's 38-minute address came Wednesday at the West Virginia Coal Mining Symposium in Charleston.

Todd Harrell / West Virginia National Guard

The insurance company for the church destroyed in the Yeager Airport landslide has given formal notice that it will sue the airport and others over the damage.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company filed the notice last week that it intends to sue the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority on behalf of Keystone Apostolic Church. The church was destroyed when the airport's safety-overrun slope fell last year.

East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co. in Columbiana County, Ohio, across from Chester, West Virginia.
East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co. Facebook page

On Friday, Jan. 15, emergency officials confirmed a chemical leak into the Ohio River in the area of Chester, West Virginia and East Liverpool, Ohio. The leak came from East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia just published a pastoral letter. It’s the third of its kind. Forty years ago the first was written and acclaimed as “one of the most significant statements to emerge from the U.S. Catholic Church,” according to the West Virginia Encyclopedia.


Map Data Google

Emergency officials have confirmed a chemical leak into the Ohio River in the area of Chester, West Virginia and East Liverpool, Ohio.

City of Liverpool Assistant Fire Chief David Edgell said a regional HAZMAT team made up of his department and fire departments in West Virginia are responding to a "small release" of what they believe is Styrene into the river.

He said the leak was discovered at some point after 10 a.m. Friday and has since been contained.


Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

  Fayette County Commission voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans dumping, storing, or injecting oil and gas waste anywhere in the county. It's the first ordinance of it's kind in West Virginia. The ordinance also allows citizens to enforce penalties in civil and criminal court.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

Appalachian Power is looking to diversify its energy profile by moving toward a greater reliance on solar and wind energy.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the company will continue to rely on coal-fired power plants to supply most of the energy for its West Virginia customers. But the Appalachian Power said in documents recently filed with the state's Public Service Commission that it also plans to increase its renewable energy capacity by more than 9 percent by 2025.

Fayette County Courthouse
A.E. Crane, National Scenic Byways Online

Fayette County Commission will meet next week to consider banning the storage, disposal, or use of oil and natural gas waste. 

Community members will present a petition with 5,000 hand-written signatures that support what would be the first county-wide ban on oil and gas waste in West Virginia. It will be the second and final reading of the ordinance. If passed, violations will be punishable by civil and criminal penalties.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

A team of independent science advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency are criticizing a report that studied the effects of hydraulic fracturing practices on drinking water. The Science Board Advisers are seeking clarification.

Freedom Industries
AP

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 21 other partners will host a free public forum Saturday. The goal is to help the public find out how to get involved in protecting the drinking water. 

The event coincides with the second anniversary of the Freedom Industries' chemical leak in the Elk River. Those involved in the forum will discuss how to help shape source water protection plans that water utilities are required to submit to the state. 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ground has been broken on a trash-to-fuel facility in West Virginia.

Media outlets report a ceremony was held Wednesday for Entsorga West Virginia's 48,000-square-foot facility in Martinsburg.

Three Rivers Avian Center

Wildlife officials are looking for volunteer spotters for the annual winter eagle survey in the Bluestone/Pipestem area.

The four-hour survey is set for Saturday. It pairs professional birders with novice or beginning bird watchers and assigns them to survey observation sites to look for golden and bald eagles.

Wyoming County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

A mining company has agreed to plug the water wells on a Wyoming County road, where residents say it's responsible for property damage after an explosion.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Pinnacle Mining Company agreed to pay for the wells to be plugged and to monitor the Pineville area for methane gas after last month's hearing in federal court.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A groundbreaking is set for a trash-to-fuel facility in West Virginia. 

A ceremony is set for Wednesday for Entsorga West Virginia's facility in Martinsburg.

Dollar Photo Club

A federal judge has set a July trial date in a coal company’s lawsuit against the top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official.

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling ordered a July 19 trial date in the case brought by coal giant Murray Energy against EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. on Dec. 24, 2015

Officials say no one was injured after a train that was carrying propane derailed in West Virginia.

CSX Spokeswoman Melanie Cost said six CSX train cars ran off the tracks in New Martinsville early Thursday and four of the cars fell on their sides.

Alpha Natural Resources

A bankruptcy judge has approved a deal resolving a reclamation bond dispute between coal operator Alpha Natural Resources and West Virginia regulators.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin R. Huennekens' order says the agreement is fair and equitable.

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