Energy & Environment

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

West Virginia regulators say a coal operator can begin testing new control measures at the site of a slurry spill.
 
The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that it has modified an order halting all work at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle preparation plant in Winifrede.
 

Chuck Roberts / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling Tuesday sent a letter to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to formally request the CDC, or its partners, immediately conduct further epidemiological and/or toxicological studies and address ongoing population surveillance or monitoring as a result of the January 9 Elk River chemical spill.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says he's not sure about tapping state reserves to monitor people's long-term health after chemicals spilled into their water supply last month.
 
Senate Majority Leader John Unger has said Tomblin should use $10 million from the state's rainy day fund for 10 years of health monitoring. Unger said lawmakers could approve the money, but it'd be easier with Tomblin's support.
 

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

On this West Virginia Morning, the State Senate goes through a very spirited debate on a prescriptions bill.

Also, the House of Delegates looks at allowing alcohol sales earlier in the day on Sunday, despite some opposition in the House.

A public hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee gives those concerned over frack waste a chance to weigh in.

The House Judiciary Committee heard thoughts and concerns during a public hearing over a piece of pending legislation: HB4411 - allowing the disposal of drill cuttings and associated drilling waste generated from fracking sites in commercial solid waste facilities.

Some History:

Some Recent History:

State-Wide Concern:

Some Science:

The Advocate:

Kanawha County
wikimedia / Wikimedia

Kanawha County and City of Charleston  have announces Bulk Water Sites for Tuesday, February 18th through Sunday, February 23rd.
 
Bring Your Own Containers To:
 
Crossing Mall – Elkview
Walmart Parking Lot – Quincy
Shawnee Park – Institute
Old Big Sandy Parking Lot – Cross Lanes
Big Lots Parking Lot –Patrick Street – Charleston
100 Maywood Avenue-Across from Post Office – Clendenin
 
 

KDKA TV- Pittsburgh / KDKA

A natural gas well fire in Greene County, Pa., is out after it burned for several days.

A stream that meanders along the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border is being used to help keep the site restored, as order is slowly coming back to the location.

Dunkard Creek is the stream being used to withdraw water as the site is being worked on.

Kanawha Co. Schools

Concerns over the water in West Virginia persist 39 days after a coal scrubbing chemical spill affected the water supply of some 300,000 residents across nine counties. One school in Kanawha Co. dismissed early  Monday.

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

On this West Virginia Morning, an underground injection well in Fayette County clears a key regulatory hurdle with the Department of Environmental Protection.

A study looks at how businesses were affected by the Elk River Chemical Spill, and more!

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The water has been contaminated for residents in nine counties. At a congressional hearing in West Virginia, their representatives demanded the answer to that simple question we asked earlier: Is the water safe?

Here's Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito questioning the state's commissioner of public health, Letitia Tierney.

REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO: Dr. Tierney, is the water safe to drink?

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

There are some basic things we take for granted, at least in the developed world, that the air we breathe or the water that flows into our homes won't make us sick. So imagine you turn on your local TV news to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORT)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: State of emergency in several counties tonight after a chemical spills into the water supply. Good evening. I'm...

A new report says West Virginia can do more with solar power.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller expresses his opinion about the West Virginia water crisis.

A Marshall University student is watching the winter Olympics with extra special interest.

And for Jessica Lilly all this snow is a slippery slope.

WV PBS/RMazza

Frustration and anger continue to mount in the affected counties of last month’s chemical spill.

West Virginians are getting schooled in chemistry and biology, and are suddenly intimately involved in considering the bigger picture of environmental regulations on industrial activities.

Three experts, one on water quality, one on environmental law, and one on public health, spoke on the West Virginia Public Broadcasting's The Law Works about these issues.

WV Legislature

A top state senator wants West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to use $10 million in reserves for health monitoring after chemicals spilled into 300,000 people's water supply.
 
     Senate Majority John Unger wants the governor to tap into the state's rainy day fund for the program. The last-resort fund of about $915 million is considered one of the nation's strongest.
 

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has renewed a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County that accepts fracking water and other waste.

A public hearing in 2013 brought concerned residents and former workers of Danny Webb Construction, the owner of the site. Residents have been concerned about the site for years.

Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's attorney general is accusing a convenience store company of illegally raising water prices while running water was unusable after a chemical spill.
 
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed the enforcement action Friday in Putnam County Circuit Court, claiming Mid Valley Mart more than doubled prices for one-gallon water jugs to $3.39 at two Hurricane stores. The complaint also says one customer paid more than $40 for 12 one-gallon jugs.
 

Nate May's Prius is loaded down with water. The back is filled with boxes, each holding three one-gallon jugs that he just bought at Walmart. He and other volunteers are driving around Charleston, W.V., dropping off the jugs to people who have contacted his ad hoc group, the West Virginia Clean Water Hub. It's paid for with donations.

"There are a lot of people this has put in a difficult bind. Some of them can't get out, some of them are elderly, some of them — it's just too much of a financial burden," May says. "We just take them at their word if they say they need water."

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Tuesday the West Virginia Testing Assessment Project for residents in the nine counties affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill into Elk River.

The project, which will make use of $650,000 from the state budget according to Tomblin, will be conducted by independent scientific experts under the direction of Dr.  Andrew Whelton, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of South Alabama, and Corona Environmental Consulting.

wikimedia / Wikimedia

State regulators are investigating the spill of 108,000 gallons of coal slurry at a preparation plant into a Kanawha River tributary in eastern Kanawha County.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman says a slurry line ruptured early Tuesday at Patriot Coal's Kanawha Eagle Prep plant near Winifrede.

Huffman says the spill area involves six miles of Fields Creek and one-half mile of the Kanawha River.

Dumping Frack Waste in Landfills Worries Some Officials

Feb 11, 2014
state capitol
wikimedia / Wikimedia

A bill recently introduced in the West Virginia legislature would place into state code a rule allowing Marcellus Shale drilling frack waste material to be disposed of in landfills around the state.

Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority Chairman Clint Hogbin expressed serious concerns about landfill capacity and local control.

The Division of Environmental Protection has issued a memo that exempts frack waste from tonnage caps authorized for each landfill. 

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