Energy & Environment

David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia environmental officials say coal slurry leaked into Crooked Run near Peytona in Boone County, south of Charleston. 

 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says a leaking water treatment tank in eastern Kanawha County isn't believed to have affected drinking water and no fish kill was observed.

The agency says the initial investigation indicates the leak reported Monday was caused by two small-caliber bullet holes in the tank, believed to have occurred after Thursday evening.

WVDOT

The West Virginia Department of Highways Power company and FirstEnergy Corp. are preparing for the winter storm expected to hit West Virginia and the Northeast tonight and tomorrow.

The National Weather Service is expecting up to 20 inches of snowfall in the mountainous regions of the eastern part of the state.  Up to a foot of snow is possible in parts of northern West Virginia starting Monday night.

State of West Virginia

Warnings have been posted in much of West Virginia for up to a foot of snow from a late-season storm.

The National Weather Service says snow is expected to start Monday night and last in some places through early Wednesday. Power outages are possible due to the weight of the snow on tree limbs and power lines.

Chuck Kleine / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the year 2017, recycling programs exist in several communities in West Virginia, but these programs have not significantly changed the state’s habit of burying trash in the hills. West Virginians are sending about the same amount of trash to the state’s 18 landfills as they have for decades.  

In 1989, West Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that’s goal was to reduce residential waste going to landfills by 50 percent by 2010. The bill was necessary to meet federal requirements. According to data collected by the state over the years - West Virginia hasn’t yet made any progress toward that goal.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia residents were divided during the final state public hearing on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

Several urged state permit approvals for the project and its jobs. Some others at the Thursday hearing warned of damage from construction, erosion and the aerial herbicide spraying along the right of way that would continue perpetually.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Three advocacy groups in Virginia want federal regulators to rescind or revise an environmental assessment of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline because they say it lacks meaningful analysis.

Solar Panels, Cheryl and Corky Brown
WV Sun

A group of people in and around Huntington are joining together to try to make solar power a reality for their homes.

It’s a solar co-op. A group of residents from the Huntington community and the surrounding areas are using the power of a group to purchase solar panels. It’s not the first solar co-op in the state. Previous co-ops have been formed in Morgantown, Wheeling and Charleston. And solar co-ops are coming together in Beckley, Lewisburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley region of the state.

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.

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