Energy & Environment

water faucet
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A company in West Virginia says it's seeking to raise prices for customers by nearly $12 per month.

WSAZ-TV reports West Virginia American Water is asking the Public Service Commission to approve the 24 percent rate increase. The increase would add about $32 million to the company's revenue.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from detainees and soldiers who were held or worked in Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; the latest on new tariffs for steel and aluminum imports; and we hear how a new study found a link between drug overdose deaths in the U.S. to an increase in organ donors.

Fourth-graders at North Jefferson Elementary School in Kearneysville, Jefferson County prep dirt for planting in one of their three raised garden beds.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Community members are rallying around a school in the Eastern Panhandle. They want to build an outdoor classroom so that kids can get into nature more readily. The goal is to improve academic achievement and provide more opportunities - especially for kids from low-income areas.

U.S. Forest Service / USDA

Prescribed burning is planned for the Hopkins Knob area of Greenbrier County on Sunday, April 29.

According to a news release issued by the U. S. Forest Service, two helicopters and up to 60 firefighters and support staff will be on hand to assist with the prescribed burn inside the in the Monongahela National Forest.

Burning will occur only if weather conditions are favorable.

More information, including maps and photos, can be found on the webpage here.

David Mercer / Associated Press

A university in West Virginia has been fined $4,999 for failing to complete inventories of American Indian remains and artifacts in its possession.

The U.S. Department of the Interior notified Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert of the fine in a letter this week.

Janet Kunicki/ WVPB

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is taking applications for grant funding available for economic development projects.

The goal of the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Economic Development Pilot Program is to provide financial assistance to communities hoping to redevelop lands near abandoned mine sites across the state. 


Wikimedia Commons

A natural gas energy processor has agreed to pay a $610,000 civil penalty and install millions of dollars worth of equipment to reduce harmful emissions at hundreds of facilities across western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

Brownfields site in Columbus, OH.
Dnpatton / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has awarded West Virginia nearly $3 million for assessment, remediation and planning work on contaminated properties across the state.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program is aimed at helping communities expand their ability to recycle polluted properties for new, productive reuses.

gypsy moth
Editor at Large / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says it will begin aerial spraying for gypsy moth early next month.


 

 

The spraying is slated for nearly 5,300 acres within Grant, Hardy, Nicholas and Pendleton counties. The goal is to reduce the impact of the insect on West Virginia’s forests.

 

This Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows railroad tracks along the West Virginia town of Matoaka, which once carried coal trains several times a day and at night.
Michael Virtanen / AP

Two mines owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice were among three across the state that missed the deadline for installing life-saving technology to prevent miners from being crushed by machinery in underground coal mines.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Environmental Protection Agency said a little-studied chemical compound has not been found in treated drinking water that came from contaminated wells in Ohio and West Virginia.

Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has issued a third executive order targeting state regulations.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Republican signed an executive order on Monday to expedite permit processes for industry, business and economic development projects. Justice says the goal is to speed up economic development by backing off overregulation and providing security for job creators.

Courtesy

President Donald Trump appointed a new federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission or ARC. Tim Thomas spent the past three years serving on the state staff of Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. Thomas also has experience as the director of external and regulatory affairs for Swift & Staley, a Kentucky-based maintenance, operations and environmental services company. Its clients have included federal and state agencies, such as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

A Cornell University researcher will be at West Virginia University for a seminar on the effects of climate change on food supplies.

WVU says Michael Hoffmann will lead the discussion Tuesday on topics including the basics of climate change, how changing climate affects the food supply and research that leads to new solutions and practices.

Harrison County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia regulators are monitoring a damaged dam in the northern part of the state that could potentially fail.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says in a news release a worker with the town of Lumberport notified authorities Wednesday about a collapsed section of the dam.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For decades, communities in the Ohio Valley have grappled with water contaminated with toxic fluorinated chemicals, sometimes called PFOA or C-8 that are often used to make non-stick pans and other items, but this type of contamination isn’t limited to the region.

A newly-updated map shows the number of contaminated sites that are known to exist around the country has nearly doubled in the past year.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a petition April 18 with the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency for a new rule that would reduce the permitting burden for American steel producers.

The proposal asks EPA to modify the New Source Review, a program under the Clean Air Act that requires factories, industrial boilers and power plants to install emissions-control technologies or reduce air pollution when new plants are built or current ones modified.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a year ago this week, white supremacist groups descended on Pikeville, Kentucky, aiming to rally “white working families,” where they were met by anti-fascist groups from across Appalachia and elsewhere in the country. After a deadly incident in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, many of these white supremacist groups fractured as a result of increased scrutiny and internal power struggles.

There is evidence that remnants of those groups have recently sprung up in north-central West Virginia. Dave Mistich takes a look some incidents where the groups have been active, the community reaction and how to identify such messages if you find them in your own neighborhood.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

Marshall University's Sustainability Department is again hosting an Earth Day celebration on Wednesday.

The event promotes sustainable living practices and works to educate Marshall students and the public about local programs and activities.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
Dollar Photo Club

Air quality across West Virginia is improving, with levels of fine particle air pollution some of the best ever measured, but smog levels have increased, according to the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report released today.

Rick Perry at Longview Power Plant
Glynis Board

Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy Solutions made waves last month when it asked the Department of Energy to grant it an emergency order to help keep coal and nuclear plants operating across the Ohio Valley.

Adobe Stock images/WVPB grpahic illustration

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said he is hopeful the first project associated with the China Energy deal will be announced soon.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kentucky ranks in the top five highest number of drug overdoses in the country. It also has one of the highest of Hepatitis C, and while HIV/AIDS cases are declining the U.S., Kentucky holds steady with new cases. Much of this can be traced back to people who use IV drugs, using needles or syringes to inject opioids.

Ten West Virginia counties are under a State of Emergency due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

Governor Jim Justice made the declaration in an emailed statement to reporters Monday afternoon.

CSX train derailment, April 16, 2018, Fayette County.
Courtesy Photo

This is a developing story. Please check back for more details.

Updated Tuesday, April 17 at 12:06 p.m.

New River Gorge National River spokeswoman Julena Campbell said in a news release the engine that derailed landed on its side near the New River.

She said no diesel fuel spilled and that crews are working to remove 5,000 gallons of fuel from the locomotive. CSX stated the ten derailed cars remained upright.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcast

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll learn more about how our reliance on coal and other extractive industries have affected our region’s economy.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a student at Concord University worked through trauma by finding ways to express herself with art. She’s hoping a degree in art will help her teach others how to find the same freedom. But without the help of a new program at Concord, she may have quit school. Jessica Lilly reports.

AP Photo/Bob Bird / Associated Press

A subsidiary of electric utility FirstEnergy is filing for bankruptcy, but Mon Power customers in West Virginia should not expect changes to their electricity service.

FirstEnergy Solutions filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the weekend. The move is expected to affect coal and nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during the teacher strike a couple of weeks ago, educators were asking for two main things: a pay raise, and a fix for the public employees health insurance program -- PEIA. While the program’s finance board ultimately agreed to freeze proposed changes that would have increased insurance costs, truly fixing PEIA in the long term might not be that simple. Kara Lofton takes a look at the rising cost of health care nationally and some of the other factors that affect the state employee healthcare program.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

Electric utility FirstEnergy Solutions is asking the federal government for an emergency order to keep coal and nuclear plants operating across the Ohio Valley.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy sent Thursday, the utility said the power grid faces grave threats if coal and nuclear plants are allowed to close.

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