Energy & Environment

West Virginia's two U.S. senators say they'll be watching closely to see how Ohio-based Murray Energy treats safety and the workforce of the five CONSOL Energy mines it's buying.
 
     Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller have requested a meeting with Murray Energy to discuss the transition.
 
     The companies announced the deal Monday for the sale of the Blacksville No. 2, Loveridge, McElroy, Robinson Run and Shoemaker mines.
 
     Pennsylvania-based CONSOL said it wants to shift resources to natural gas development.
 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

CONSOL Energy sells five longwall mines to Murray Energy, the families of Upper Big Branch Mine victims speak out against a Halloween attraction at King's Dominion, and the first in a series of Halloween stories on the Whipple Company Store.

Joe Long / AP

Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, along with Senator Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall, today announced more than $697,000 in federal funding for pipeline safety efforts in West Virginia.  
 

CONSOL Energy Inc. is selling all five of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to Ohio-based Murray Energy for $3.5 billion.
 
     Pennsylvania-based CONSOL said Monday the deal for its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary is good for long-term growth.
 
     CONSOL is selling McElroy Mine, Shoemaker Mine, Robinson Run Mine, Loveridge Mine and Blacksville No. 2 Mine, plus river and dock operations. The mines produced a combined 28.5 million tons last year.
 

Environmental groups are reacting to a ruling from a federal judge which says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has no legal right to force a West Virginia chicken farmer to obtain pollution permits for runoff from her Hardy County farm.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey ruled that the runoff entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed from Lois Alt's poultry farm is stormwater and therefore not subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new Kentucky café caters to Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

Arts and Culture provide economic development in one Kentucky county.

A new book profiles one of West Virginia’s most picturesque river valleys.

And ink lovers turn out for the first WV tattoo expo.

NOVA host coming to WV

Oct 15, 2013
David Pogue, Host of Nova scienceNow
PBS

Next week in Morgantown, a special symposium on energy will be bringing one of the nation’s most prominent faces in the field.

  David Pogue is a columnist for the New York Times, who also works as the host of the PBS program Nova Science Now.

Pogue is the keynote speaker for the Science, Technology and Research Symposium, or STAR symposium, coming up next week in Morgantown. Pogue says science is a field where there’s a lot of demand—a number of job opportunities are available—but not much supply—meaning, there just aren’t enough people to fill those jobs.

Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment
Wiki

More than 50 West Virginia and Pennsylvania property owners are suing FirstEnergy over groundwater pollution, soggy yards, and foundation damage they say was caused by a leaking coal ash impoundment.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Wheeling accuses the Ohio-based power company of negligence, reckless conduct, trespassing and creating a nuisance.

It says arsenic and other substances have leached out of the unlined, 1,700-acre Little Blue Run impoundment into groundwater, and the air has been fouled by the noxious odors of hydrogen sulfide gas.

Rachel Lippman / St. Louis Public Radio

The United Mine Workers of America has reached a settlement with Peabody Energy and Patriot Coal that will help to cover health care benefits for retired miners.

Background:

Solar Decathlon competition heating up in California

Oct 9, 2013
West Virginia University

West Virginia University's Solar Decathlon Team is in Irvine, competing with its rustic, log cabin home.

Team members say they are enjoying the experience, yet at the same time, feeling the pressure from competing.

Department of Energy officials say the home is bringing a refreshing new vision to the competition, too.

Cecelia Mason

The West Virginia chapter of The Nature Conservancy is celebrating a half century in existence by looking back at its accomplishments, planning its future and honoring 50 people or organizations that have helped it along the way.

The West Virginia chapter was chartered in 1963. The Nature Conservancy web site says the idea started three years earlier when a group at West Virginia University wanted to buy the Cranesville Swamp Preserve near Morgantown, W.Va.

West Virginia Citizen Action Group says it will appeal the approval of a $1.1 billion deal for the sale of the Harrison Power Station.

The United Mine Workers is reminding miners to stay safe during the government shut down. Three miners died in just as many days over the weekend. 

UMWA president Cecil Roberts is urging all miners to be especially careful at work.

Roberts said, “check on your buddy,” and “watch each other's back.”

On Friday 62-year-old Roger R. King from Moundsville was killed after an accident at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine in Marshall County. He was employed as a longwall maintenance coordinator and had 42 years of mining experience.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is inevitably affected by the standoff in Washington. MSHA is partially open with less than half the staff.

Update Monday October 7 9:00 a.m.

Leslie Fitzwater with the state Office of Miner's Health Safety and training says 62-year-old Roger R. King from Moundsville died Friday. 

King died Friday after an accident at CONSOL Energy's McElroy mine in Marshall County. He was employed as a longwall maintenance coordinator.

King had 42 years of mining experience with 17 years experience at McElroy mine.

Rt 219 Project

One of the most immediate effects of the federal government shutdown hits tourists.

A record number of raptors flew over an observation point in West Virginia recently.

A story teller puts a new twist on old Appalachian traditions.

And a Kentucky school program helps who want to children learn music.

early fall at Dolly Sods, WV
wikimedia / ForestWander

State foresters recommend heading to the high country this weekend to see foliage at its peak. Perennial foliage hotspots, including Dolly Sods, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley are reportedly either at peak or expected to peak over the next few days. In Pocahontas County, favorite foliage spots like Cheat Mountain, Snowshoe and the headwaters of the Greenbrier River are getting close to peak. The Highland Scenic Highway has good but scattered color.

The Silver Lake area of Preston County is approximately 60 percent peak and another recommended destination this weekend.

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon be expected to move forward revising coal ash regulations, according to a federal court ruling.

In April 2012, nearly a dozen environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s inaction to revise coal ash regulations.

Portions of South Charleston, Dunbar and other areas in western Kanawha County were under a shelter in place Wednesday morning as a result of a chemical leak. No injuries were reported and the situation appears to be non-threatening at this point.

Clearon Corporation Facilities Manager Scott Johnson says his company produces dry chlorinated bleach for use in pools. He details the chain of the events during the incident.

“At 8:25 Eastern Daylight Time this morning an alarm alerted our management to the release of a small amount of chlorine,” said Johnson.

The fourth series of Inspiring West Virginians  features one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, John Forbes Nash, Jr, a 1994 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Nash grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia, and the town still holds an importance for him. Now 84, John Nash is currently a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University in New Jersey. 

 

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