Energy & Environment

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the hurricane season’s super-charged storms highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and it’s not just a concern for the coasts. Scientists warn that heavy rain events have become more common in the Ohio Valley. Glynis Board looks at how some flood-prone communities are preparing for what experts call “the new normal” of extreme weather.

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, geologic studies indicate West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the East Coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Liz McCormick reports, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use.

Tuscarora Elementary School, Geothermal
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We hear a lot about coal and natural gas in West Virginia - even solar and wind. But what about geothermal energy? Science indicates West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the east coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Well, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use…like in a handful of public schools.

Mirijana Beram

Ohio's environmental regulators have more than doubled the proposed fines against a company building a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Michigan, saying Wednesday the two sides are at an impasse.

The fines now stand at $2.3 million and stem from what the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says are numerous water and air pollution violations during construction of the $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline.

Monroe County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

An earthquake that struck parts of Virginia and West Virginia appears to have left little to no damage.

The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that the quake shook parts of the New River Valley shortly after 1:30 p.m. No damage was immediately reported.

New Mine Safety 'Assistance' Program Raises Concerns

Sep 14, 2017
MSHA

Lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s practices amid an increase in coal fatalities.  

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about practices at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration amid an increase in coal fatalities. As Becca Schimmel reports, officials are asking questions about MSHA’s compliance assistance program.

A jury’s verdict ordered an oil and gas company, EQT, to pay Doddridge County residents for trespassing and building a shale gas drilling pad without expressed permission.

Elk, Standing Elk
Albert Herring / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's elk population dropped to 22 after two elk collided with an ambulance.

News outlets report a calf and an elk died after they jumped over the median on U.S. 119 and collided with an ambulance Monday morning. No patients were in the ambulance and the two ambulance personnel were unharmed.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia environmental regulators are rescinding approval for building the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

In a letter Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection said it's vacating the water quality certification issued in March, which followed review of the projected impact on the state's waters and public hearings.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Hay, Farm, Bale of Hay
Pixabay

West Virginia officials are warning farmers about the possibility that their hay could be contaminated by recent flooding.

The state Agriculture Department said in a news release feeding contaminated hay to animals can be dangerous.

Methanol Plant
Wdwdbot / wikimedia commons

Ground has been broken on a methanol plant in West Virginia.

Officials on Wednesday celebrated the start of construction on the US Methanol plant in Institute.

Gov. Jim Justice says the plant will convert natural gas to methanol for use by existing chemical plants.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is compiling water quality data on the state's streams and lakes. The agency is accepting additional information for analysis through October.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has nominated a retired West Virginia mine executive to lead the nation’s top mine safety agency. David Zatazelo is the former head of Rhino Resources, a coal company that was the focus of scrutiny by regulators in 2011 over safety violations.  
The nomination comes as mine safety experts are expressing concern about a rash of fatal coal mining accidents. Becca Schimmel reports that 12 miners have died this year -- eight of them in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Coal Fatalities Rise: Miner Deaths Increase Amid Low Coal Employment

Sep 1, 2017
MSHA

  A rash of fatal coal mining accidents in the Ohio Valley region pushed the nation’s total number of mining deaths to a level not seen since 2015, sparking concern among safety advocates.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, pipeline protesters have been camped along the Potomac River in Maryland and West Virginia all summer long. They don’t want to see the 3.5-mile TransCanada natural gas pipeline built underneath the river. Liz McCormick reports, pipeline supporters argue the line is critical to expanding natural gas resources to businesses and homes in the growing Eastern Panhandle. 

Eastern Panhandle Gas Pipeline, Mountaineer Gas, Protest, Pipeline
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


All summer long, pipeline protesters have been camped along the Potomac River in Maryland and West Virginia. They don’t want to see a 3.5 mile long TransCanada natural gas pipeline built underneath the river. Supporters argue the line is critical to expanding natural gas resources to businesses and homes in the growing Eastern Panhandle. 

 

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