Energy & Environment

streams
Alokrohith / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says 21 organizations around the state are receiving grants to help protect the quality of the state's rivers and streams.

Greenland Gap
Nature Conservancy / WV Humanities Council

The West Virginia Outdoor Heritage Conservation Fund says it's accepting grant applications for land-protection projects with up to $1.2 million that may be awarded.

Still from White House video

Donald Trump loves coal.

He campaigned on a promise to put miners back to work and his first year in office included numerous Ohio Valley visits to highlight coal’s importance.

“I love our coal miners and they’re coming back strong!” Trump said to a roaring crowd at an August rally in Huntington, West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “One Year, Under Trump,” looks at what the president has done on some of the region’s key issues.

As Becca Schimmel reports, despite the coal heavy rhetoric, the area’s industry has seen only minor change in employment.

Jessica Lilly

This week on Inside Appalachia, we discuss one part of coal's legacy: as mining companies have closed, the water companies they built and helped maintain have largely been neglected. Today, residents are struggling with crumbling water infrastructure that hasn’t been updated for, sometimes, 100 years. 

Electric car, Electric, Electric vehicle, Electric charging station
Pixabay

Marshall University is set to unveil an electric car charging station.

Rain
Jerzy Gorecki / Pixabay

Forecasters have issued a flood watch in much of West Virginia as a storm approaches.

The National Weather Service says the flood watch is in effect through Friday morning for about half of West Virginia's counties.

Confluence of Ohio and Big Sandy River, South Point, Ohio; Kenova, West Virginia; Ashland, Kentucky
Ken Lund / Wikimedia Commons

Updated Friday, January 12 at 11:49 a.m.

Officials say a sunken tow boat is leaking oil in the Big Sandy River on the West Virginia-Kentucky border and crews are trying to contain the spill.

Benchill / wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has awarded nearly two dozen recycling grants to groups in 20 counties.

The DEP said in a news release that funding for the recycling assistance grant program is generated through a $1 assessment fee per ton of solid waste disposed at in-state landfills.

Frost on leaf, frost
Pixabay.com

Record-low temperatures have been set in parts of West Virginia as a blast of Arctic air swept through the state.

The National Weather Service says the thermometer dipped to 14-below zero Sunday morning in Elkins. That broke the previous record of 12 below set in 1988.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We end our weeklong look at our best stories from 2017, where we stepped into the archives to retell some of our favorite stories from last year.

This morning, we hear from reporters Kara Lofton and Glynis Board.

David Smith / AP Photo

Plans for an underground natural gas liquids storage hub pegged as a major job creator for the chemical industry in struggling Appalachia have cleared their first big hurdle.

U.S. coal mines recorded 15 workplace deaths in 2017 only a year after they hit a record low, according to Mine Safety and Health Administration data released on Tuesday.

In 2016, just nine deaths occurred in U.S. coal mines.

West Virginia mines saw eight deaths, Kentucky had two, and one each occurred at mines in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

Officials say a worker has died after a tracked vehicle moving a piece of pipe slipped on frozen ground and struck him in West Virginia.

Elk, Standing Elk
Albert Herring / Wikimedia Commons

A new partnership between West Virginia and a nonprofit group will protect about 32,000 acres of forest as habitat for the state's new elk population.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and The Conservation Fund used $12 million from the Wildlife Conservation Fund to protect the land. The Conservation Fund purchased the land in 2016 and then transferred it to the Division of Natural Resources.

Burned By Coal: Coalfield Communities Facing Electricity Price Hikes

Dec 23, 2017
Kentucky Power customers expressed frustration with proposed rate increases.
Mimi Pickering / WMMT

One evening this past November, angry customers and public officials filled a high school auditorium in Hazard, Kentucky, and took turns pleading with three members of the state’s public service commission.

Angie Hatton, a state legislator representing Letcher and Pike counties, presented the situation in historical terms. “This community that for two centuries has been powering our nation, we’re now struggling to keep our own lights on.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration announced it is reviewing an Obama-era rule that protects miners from exposure to coal dust, and that has some health and safety advocates concerned. As Benny Becker reports, the review comes amid a tide of regulatory rollbacks and at a time that the most severe form of black lung disease is on the rise.

Antero Resources

Environmentalists have reached an agreement with Antero Treatment that calls for monitoring for radioactivity and bromide around its landfill in northern West Virginia that takes the waste from recycled groundwater used in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

It settles an appeal by the West Virginia Rivers Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy of the state permit for the landfill, which takes salt byproducts from Antero’s adjacent wastewater recycling facility. Both are located on 447 acres in Ritchie and Doddridge counties.

Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Throughout coal mining country of the Eastern U.S. you will find streams that run a peculiar rusty orange. It’s the result of pollution called acid mine drainage, or AMD. It’s estimated that about 10,000 miles of streams are polluted by AMD in Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone. In fact, researchers have calculated that every second, coal mines throughout the region are pumping out about 3,000 cubic feet of AMD. That’s roughly equal to an average May day’s flow of water in the Monongahela River as it winds through the region.

John Raby / AP Photo

In the wake of the hearings the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted in West Virginia last week, the agency has decided to schedule more public hearings about the repeal of the Clean Power Plan - carbon regulations that aimed to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. 

Photo courtesy of Wood County 911

West Virginia environmental authorities have approved cleanup plans by the owners of the industrial warehouse that burned for a week in Parkersburg.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, here in West Virginia, one source of energy -- coal -- tends to dominate discussions about the economy. But it’s another form of energy production that brought The World’s Jason Margolis to the state.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey stood in front of the state’s capitol to rally the roughly 120 coal miners and industry boosters gathered there.

“The fight against the unlawful Clean Power Plan started in Charleston, West Virginia,” Morrisey said, noting the state’s role in a legal challenge to the Obama-era rule.

 


Wood County 911

A new lawsuit over the industrial fire that burned for a week in West Virginia targets the chemical manufacturer who sold products stored in the building.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, coal miners were some of President Trump’s staunchest supporters in the 2016 election. He promised to bring back jobs in the industry, and that promise is tantalizing to some in coal country.

Reporting for StateImpact Pennsylvania, The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier found coal miners who are sticking with the industry, instead of looking for a new career.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, environmental advocates and energy industry stakeholders are meeting in West Virginia’s capitol for two days of hearings on a proposal to repeal carbon emission regulations -- regulations that haven’t yet been implemented.

Spotted Lanternfly, Lanternfly, Lantern Fly, Fly, Lantern
Sam Droege / USGS

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is asking residents to watch for the appearance of the spotted lanternfly, a destructive insect whose presence was confirmed last week in New Castle County, Delaware.

It was first detected in the U.S. in 2014 in Pennsylvania, where it has since been found in 13 counties.

water faucet
wikimedia

West Virginia's U.S. senators say $6.65 million in federal rural development funding has been approved for building a new treatment plant and other upgrades for the water system in McMechen.

Supreme Court
Penubag / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected landowners’ request to review the ruling by West Virginia’s highest court concluding natural gas companies can deduct post-production costs from the royalties paid landowners for mineral rights.

In May, the West Virginia Supreme Court reversed its November ruling in the case after Justice Beth Walker was elected and replaced Justice Brent Benjamin.

In their petition, the landowners said the reversal could have been significant for energy companies in which Walker’s husband had owned stock.

John Raby / AP Photo

Last month the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt chose an eastern Kentucky mining town as the venue to announce his intent to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule that sought to limit greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday the agency returned to coal country to conduct its only public hearing on the matter in Charleston, West Virginia.

Pages