Energy & Environment

Eastern milksnake
Yankech gary

West Virginia wildlife authorities say an Eastern Milksnake in Kanawha County has tested positive for snake fungal disease in the first contemporary occurrence in the state.

Kevin Oxenrider, Division of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, says dramatic declines in snake populations, particularly rattlesnakes farther north, have been linked to the disease.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photos

President Donald Trump brought Washington politics to West Virginia Monday, speaking to a crowd of about 40,000 boy scouts and volunteers at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean for the 2017 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree. 

Trump is the eigth president to attend a jamboree, which occurs every four years, and the first to attend the event since it found a permanent home in West Virginia, in 2013. 

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

West Virginia environmental regulators are accepting public comment on a draft list of the state's impaired streams and lakes.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is required to update its list of impaired waters every two years. Such waterways failed to meet state water quality standards.

A draft list can be viewed on the agency's website.

The agency is accepting public comments through Aug. 21.

Department of Environmental Quality Firector, David Paylor walks along a retention pond for a spring near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline June 6, in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water resources, forest and other habitats, but most could be reduced to insignificant levels, an assessment by federal regulators found.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has said the “war on coal” is over. But in the energy marketplace the power struggle continues. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to natural gas is under way. In the second of two stories, Glynis Board reports on the public health effects of our energy choices. 

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction.

Together these new and expanded pipelines — comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all — would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, despite the Trump administration’s support for the coal industry, the power sector is moving toward more use of natural gas. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to gas is under way, with big implications for the region’s economy and environment. In the first of two reports, Glynis Board reports on two facilities that illustrate the power struggle.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

 

Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal.

The G20 Summit ended in Hamburg with affirmation to pursue the Paris climate accord by leaders of the world's strongest economies, minus President Trump.

"The leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible," reads a declaration adopted on the final day of meetings Saturday, by a group that includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, and which some are now calling the "G19," at least when it comes to the question of climate change.

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

The bridge that provides the only road access to the Camp Brookside area of New River Gorge National River in West Virginia has been closed for repairs.

The National Park Service says the shutdown began Thursday and is expected to last five weeks.

RIck Perry
Eric Gay / AP

After touring one of the few recently built coal-fired power plants in the U.S., Energy Secretary Rick Perry says they're important for the country's future.

Perry says a stable baseload of electricity is important and this technology provides "the ability to deliver a secure, economical and environmentally good source of energy."

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Appalachian Power is seeking approval for two wind generation projects.

The utility says in a news release that it has asked regulators to approve its requests to acquire projects currently under development by Invenergy LLC.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, nationwide, West Virginia is known for its struggles with opioid abuse and growing rates of overdose deaths. In fact, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2015, West Virginia had the highest overdose rate in the country per capita, or in proportion with the population.

Rep. David McKinley in a hearing
Submitted Photo / Office of David McKinley

Lawmakers in Washington advanced a bill this week that could help communities throughout the region leverage more funds to clean up abandoned industrial sites.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill drafted and sponsored by West Virginia's Representative David McKinley to improve the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program, which provides resources to clean up and redevelop contaminated industrial sites.

wikimedia / Wikimedia

Officials say an explosion at a recycling facility in West Virginia has burned an employee.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that state fire marshal Shawn Alderman says the worker was treated for burns at a local hospital after the incident at Cashin Recyclables in Nitro. Alderman says it happened shortly after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday when the worker used a hand-held rotary saw to scrap an oxygen cylinder.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Political leaders in West Virginia and Kentucky are joining a coalition of states threatening to sue California over a program the state is pushing that would drop investments in coal.

Fotolia DollarPhoto Club

 A committee looking at how decisions are reached on controlling coal miners' exposure to coal dust will meet this week in West Virginia.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee is assessing the effectiveness of monitoring and sampling approaches used to make the decisions.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
Dollar Photo Club

A West Virginia University Extension Service expert wants to help residents of the state avoid attacks by ticks this summer.

Entomology specialist Daniel Frank says three things that can help are mowing grass frequently, trimming trees and using insecticide when appropriate.

Ohio County
David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia city has filed a federal lawsuit seeking a $20 million insurance claim to cover damages at its hydroelectric plant.

The Intelligencer reports that the lawsuit was filed this month in U.S. District Court in Wheeling.

Monongalia County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

Officials have confirmed that a tornado touched down in northern West Virginia as the remnants of Tropical Depression Cindy passed through the state.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said the tornado in Monongalia County had a rating of EF1 , with maximum winds estimated at 95 mph (153 kph).

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