Energy & Environment

Appalachian Power says it will pay for electrical inspections necessary to restore power for West Virginia flood victims.

Charleston manager of distribution systems Tom Johnson says the inspection is important to make sure restoring power is safe, even though it may seem like an additional burden for people already going through the aftermath of the storms.

Sergeant First Class Casey Phalen / WV National Guard

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a press release announcing details on how survivors affected by West Virginia flooding can get assistance. Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

Saints Practice
Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints are planning to keep their training camp in West Virginia after recent flooding in the state killed at least 23 people.

The team says in a statement it has been in contact with officials at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs and it still plans to hold training camp at the facility beginning on July 27.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, state health officials warned people about flood waters filled with contaminants, like sewage or gasoline. While they are still urging caution, officials at West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection say the volume of flood water likely diluted the most toxic substances.  

Ashton Marra

Flooding debris is piling up as waters continue to recede. Mixed in the debris: hazardous materials. An emergency response unit at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is coordinating with the state’s National Guard to deal with flood debris.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

America's largest coal-mining company says it's reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized miners.

Murray American Energy announced Friday a 5-year pact struck between the United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, representing mine operators in Ohio and West Virginia.

Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

The partial demolition of the Highland Dam has caused new problems in the West Fork River, including dropping water levels and exposed sewer lines.

Bill Hoover, general manager of Greater Harrison Public Services, tells the Exponent Telegram that the department has been monitoring water levels since April. He says he's never seen the water level this low.

Black Bear
Bobisbob~commonswiki / wikimedia commons

Police have arrested eight men on a variety of charges related to hunting black bears illegally in West Virginia.

A news release Wednesday from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says an investigation began in September 2015 when an illegal bear baiting site was reported near Mount Storm in Grant County.

Brian Turner

DuPont is presenting its case this week in one of the 3,500 lawsuits alleging a link between illnesses and the company discharging the chemical C8 into the Ohio River.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Anthony Playtis, who spent years overseeing testing and monitoring of workers at DuPont's Ohio River plant in West Virginia, testified that blood tests of plant workers were below the company's acceptable exposure limit.

Freedom Industries
AP

President Barack Obama signed the first overhaul of toxic chemical rules in 40 years into law today. West Virginia's Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic senator Joe Manchin are applauding the action.

Ohio River near Huntington
JaGa / wikimedia commons

Cleanup day is coming this weekend for the Ohio River as well as the Kentucky River.

River Sweep 2016 is Saturday.

For the Ohio River, the event covers the entire river, from its origin in Pittsburgh to its end in Cairo, Illinois. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission says that includes nearly 3,000 miles of shoreline and many tributaries.

The commission is an interstate water pollution agency for the Ohio River Valley. It organizes the River Sweep, along with environmental protection and natural resource agencies from:

2bgr8 / http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash-113445826

On Thursday, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced a multi-million dollar agreement with one of the state’s largest coal operators - one that’s currently in bankruptcy court.

The deal was struck in light of concerns over whether or not the company would be able to pay for cleanup of mines after bankruptcy.


West Virginia billionaire businessman Jim Justice announces that he is running for governor of West Virginia as a Democrat in 2016 in White Sulphur Springs , W.Va., Monday, May 11, 2015
Chris Tilley / AP

Kentucky regulators have cited a company owned by coal operator Jim Justice for conditions that they say contributed to a mudslide and flooding that damaged six homes in Pike County. 

 Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura told The Courier-Journal regulators learned on Friday about the damages and sent investigators to the Bent Mountain surface mining operation.

Courtesy: Shell Chemicals

West Virginia was in the running for construction of a new ethane cracker plant, but after four years of deliberations, a major petrochemical company announced Tuesday they are moving forward with construction in Pennsylvania.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Clark Davis reports from Huntington where woodworking is part of a new hub for training and opportunity.  Also, two students at the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University reports on the water quality of a stream in Taylor County that’s affected by a nearby coal mine.

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Appalachian Power says it's adding more wind power to its energy portfolio.

The company said Thursday that it has reached a 20-year deal to purchase 120 megawatts of new wind generation from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC.

natural gas, fracking
wikimedia

 Those involved in a West Virginia University fracking project are praising its success after the first year.

The Exponent Telegram reports WVU began the Marcellus Shale Energy Environmental Laboratory project last June.

WVU Student-Journalists Use DIY Electronics to Examine Water Quality

Jun 2, 2016
WVU student Jillian Clemente makes sure the sensors are secure before finding a good spot for them to sit on the creek.
Colleen S. Good / WVU Stream Lab Project

With the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, our nation’s drinking water — and what’s in it — has been on everyone’s minds. 

 

West Virginia has also had its share of issues with contaminated water. While the coal industry helps create jobs in the state, it also creates the potential for another water crisis. 

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

The City of Parkersburg will provide water to some parts of Vienna in response to high levels of a carcinogenic chemical in the town’s drinking water.

The Parkersburg Utility Board’s Assistant Manager Eric Bumgardner says the lower-third of Vienna, also known as the town’s commercial district, had its water switched over to Parkersburg’s water supply Wednesday.

This will remain in effect until a permanent fix is in place.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

The state Public Service Commission has set a date for a hearing involving a lawsuit filed against a water company and a manufacturer that sold a chemical to a company involved in a massive spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports commissioners issued an order scheduling an evidentiary hearing in the investigation for Nov. 15-17.

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