Energy & Environment

CommonsHelper2 Bot / wikimedia commons

Officials are trumpeting the return of an elk herd to West Virginia for the first time since 1875.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and officials from the state Division of Natural Resources are set to introduce the elk on Monday in Logan County.

Appalachian Power says its website has a new interactive map to simplify how customers can get details about outages.

The company says in a statement that the new mapping tool at www.appalachianpower.com makes it easier to research or report power outages.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s Attorney General sent a letter to Washington this week outlining ways to dismantle the Obama Administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution. 

Patrick Morrisey along with officials from Ohio, Kentucky, and 21 other states signed a letter addressed to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Senate President Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Michael and Carrie Kline

After years of researching the environmental effects of horizontal gas drilling, including the controversial practice called “fracking”, the Environmental Protection Agency released a final report that highlights threats, but is still largely inconclusive.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy says incomes in the resource-rich state continue to lag behind the nation, faulting in part a "trickle-down" approach to state economic policy that puts more power and money in the hands of a wealthy few.

According to the center, West Virginia has historically been one of the poorest states, a trend continuing in 2015 with per capita personal income of $37,047 that was nearly $11,000 below the national average.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

Rumors had it that WV Senator Joe Manchin would be the next Secretary of Energy. But following a meeting with President-elect Trump, the Democratic Senator says he will remain in the Senate. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has been tapped for a cabinet position instead.  

solar panels atop the garage attached to the First State Capitol Building
Glynis Board / WVPB

A Catholic Charities social services building serving residents of West Virginia and Ohio is installing solar panels in response to Pope Francis' call for caring for the environment.

water faucet
wikimedia

A small city in southern West Virginia is telling residents not to drink tap water because of possible contamination.

The city of Gary issued the warning Friday evening, saying there's a possible introduction of "coal refuse" into the city's raw well water source.

Senate Democrats dropped their objections Friday night to a short-term-funding bill to keep the government running, and the bill passed less than an hour before the midnight deadline.

It's become a familiar year-end act for Congress: passing a short-term-funding bill that will keep the government running for a few more months. This funding measure, which passed 63-36, runs out in April.

Without congressional intervention, about 16,000 retired miners in seven states will lose their health care coverage by the end of the year.

A proposal to temporarily extend the benefits is working its way through Congress. But two Senate Democrats, who are advocates for a more comprehensive plan, say the temporary provision isn't enough.

They are threatening to hold up a spending bill that needs to pass by Friday night to keep the government running.

Jason Meredith / Flickr

Chances are, one of the first things you do in the morning is turn on the faucet. For more than three million people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia, that means getting tap water that comes from the Ohio River. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio is also one of the most polluted rivers in the country. 

National Transportation Safety Board

A Northern Panhandle chemical plant where chlorine gas spilled from a leaking tank car has been cited for alleged workplace safety violations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued $25,500 in fines against Axiall Corp.'s Eagle Natrium LLC subsidiary. The Aug. 27 spill occurred at the company's New Martinsville plant.

Environmentalists and the Pocahontas Land Corp. have agreed to settle a lawsuit over coal mine drainage into streams in southern West Virginia.

The environmental groups say Pocahontas' former White Flame mountaintop-removal mine in Mingo County continues to discharge selenium, dissolved solids, sulfates and other pollutants into tributaries of the Tug Fork River.

Pat Little/Associated Press

Coal ash waste from a FirstEnergy Corp. plant in Pennsylvania will be transported to the Murray Energy Corp. reclamation site near Moundsville in West Virginia. 

Alpha Natural Resources

West Virginia regulators have settled a lawsuit brought against Alpha Natural Resources over concerns about the coal producer's reclamation obligations as it emerges from bankruptcy.

Cheat River
TimK MSI / Wikimedia Commons

The Cheat River flows pale green and slate gray, glistening in the sunshine as it gathers speed, turns to whitewater and drops between rocks on the way toward the Monongahela River. From there it makes its way to the Ohio River and the drinking water of millions of people.

As West Virginia pushes toward an uncertain economic future, a river that once flowed bright orange charts a course out of mining's toxic legacies.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Just months after emerging from bankruptcy, Alpha Natural Resources has revealed $100 million in what it calls "unaccounted for obligations," causing West Virginia regulators to worry that the burden puts the company at further risk of financial failure.

 

The Alpha disclosure, made in a recent bankruptcy court filing, has increased fears about there being adequate money available to complete proper reclamation on hundreds of Alpha mining permits across West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

A recent breakdown at an Ohio River dam served as a wake-up call about the aging infrastructure that keeps river commerce flowing. The Ohio is one of the country’s busiest working rivers and some navigation controls are approaching the century mark. I went to see these ailing structures and a new multi-billion dollar project in the works.

Critical Stretch of River

Last month the Coalfield Development Corporation and Solar Holler announced they would expand an already existing partnership to help transition miners from coal jobs into a new industry. The announcement meant a new training facility at West Edge in the Westmoreland neighborhood of Huntington, but will work with laid off miners throughout the state’s southern coalfields.

Jeff Bright

Mountain Party gubernatorial candidate Charlotte Pritt is no stranger to the political scene. She spent 8 years as a state legislator in the ’80s into the ’90s. Then she ran for governor and almost won in ’96. She made history once, and she’s hoping to do it again.


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