Energy & Environment

Power Lines
Kreuzschnabel / wikimedia commons

A utility sent helicopters to survey damage from severe thunderstorms that left tens of thousands of homes and businesses in West Virginia without power. In some hard-hit areas, residents were told it would be days before their power was restored.

Appalachian Power said on its website that more than 55,000 customers were without electricity late Thursday morning in southern West Virginia. That included nearly 11,000 in Fayette County and 9,000 in Kanawha County.

More than 90,000 homes and businesses in West Virginia remain without power a day after severe thunderstorms rolled through the state.

Appalachian Power says on its website that more than 76,000 customers were without electricity Thursday in southern West Virginia. That includes 16,000 in Fayette County and nearly 9,000 in Logan County.

Courtesy: Violet Gathalee Pavkovich

Violet Gathalee Pavkovich stands on the small back porch of her powder blue, turn-of-the-century farmhouse, an orange cat meandering around her legs. White wicker furniture contrasts the rusty railroad tracks that border her back yard.

“Trains hauling coal come through here two or three times a day,” she remarked casually. As I thank her for her time, she asks if she can give me a hug.

Fire, Forest FIre
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's spring forest fire season starts this week with limits on outside burning.

The season begins Wednesday and runs through May 31. Outside burning is only allowed between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. Burning also is limited to brush, leaves, yard clippings and other vegetative materials.

Austin Caperton, Secretary of West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Sierra Club hosted a public forum this week featuring newly appointed Cabinet Secretary of West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection, Austin Caperton. It was among his first public speaking events as secretary. 

Mike Cline / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia officials are working on a plan to help anglers catch larger trout in the wild.

Division of Natural Resources trout biologist Dave Thorne tells the Charleston Gazette-Mail that the agency is examining its management plans for both wild trout and trout that are brought in on stocking trucks.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

New River Gorge National River officials say several prescribed fires are planned this spring between Monday and May 31.

The park said in a news release the sites range in size from 4 to 45 acres and total about 95 acres.

Jim Justice
Steve Helber / AP

Tax liens show Gov. Jim Justice's coal companies still owe cash-strapped West Virginia $4.4 million in unpaid state taxes due at least a year ago.

EPA bracing for big cuts under Trump administration

Feb 21, 2017
GettyImages-643463870.jpg
Adam Allington

The Environmental Protection Agency's new head, Scott Pruitt, is already signalling his intent to start undoing climate change regulations introduced under the Obama adminstration.

Dave Foster / West Virginia Rural Water Association

It’s been happening for years - water systems are slowly coming to a breaking point. The next episode of Inside Appalachia explores one legacy of the coal mining industry - crumbling water infrastructure.

While surrounded by coal-state lawmakers and coal miners, President Trump signed a bill this week that rolls back an environmental rule designed to protect streams from coal mining debris.


aquaponics
Steven Walling / Wikimedia Commons

A free workshop is being offered next week on aquaponic growing, a method that allows fish and vegetables to be raised together in a closed system.

West Virginia State University Extension Service is hosting the workshop from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 25 at the Buffalo High School Greenhouse in Buffalo.

The chemical giant DuPont made an offer Monday to pay more than half-a-billion dollars to settle water contamination lawsuits pending in federal court.


Logan County, Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia mine safety authorities say a 54-year-old coal truck driver has died from injuries he suffered last week in Logan County.

The Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training says the loaded truck driven by Franklin Vannoy Jr. of Delbarton unexpectedly overturned while he was delivering coal to the Greenbrier Minerals Elk Lick Loadout dump site about 7:25 a.m. on Feb. 3.

pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

Environmental activists crowded a TransCanada open house Thursday in western Maryland, blocking access to displays about the company's proposed pipeline beneath the Potomac River to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Protest leaders pledged a sustained campaign against the project, planned by the same Canadian energy company behind the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an order expanding the area for required testing of water wells for the chemical C8.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that C8 was used for years to manufacture Teflon at a Wood County DuPont plant. A science panel has since discovered a link between C8 and illnesses, including certain cancers.

Energy Transfer

A federal agency has approved construction plans for one of the major natural gas pipelines planned in the region. The 4.2 billion dollar Rover pipeline project is slated to begin phase one of construction this year.


The creek where the WVU Stream Lab team dropped their sensors. Save the Tygart Watershed Association has been keeping tabs on the waterway since before the coal slurry pond was installed nearby.
Colleen S. Good / WVU Stream Lab Project

Republicans in Washington are making good on promises to overrule a regulation from the Obama Administration with support of West Virginia’s delegation. The rule was designed to protect streams from coal mining debris.

Patrick Ford (in red) and Assistant Director Marvin Six of the Brooke-Hancock Business Development Corporation at the abandoned and contaminated pottery plant in 2012.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Ford

One of the Trump Administration’s first moves once in office was to freeze all grants issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That move raised a lot of questions and a further directive limiting public statements from the EPA added to the confusion.

wikimedia

Edward Maguire II has been appointed environmental advocate for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP Secretary Austin Caperton announced Maguire's appointment Tuesday.

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