Energy & Environment

water faucet

West Virginia regulators are sticking with their proposal to change the way water-quality standards are calculated.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that a document made public Friday insists the decision "does not automatically" translate into an increase in the amount of cancer-causing chemicals allowed to be discharged into state rivers and streams.


Two people were transported to hospitals for inhalation injuries, others were treated at the site of a reported chlorine leak in Marshall County. Communities in the area were evacuated. Officials from Axiall Corporation say a rail tanker car loaded with liquid chlorine developed a leak Saturday morning inside the company's facility near Proctor, W.Va. 

Kenn W. Kiser /

Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the federal appeals court case known as West Virginia v. EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The case has major implications for the country’s policy on climate change. But some experts and industry leaders say the outcome is not likely to bring coal back from its decline in the power market.

Carla Whitee Ford / New South Media

Hemp, known in the scientific community as cannabis sativa, is a cousin to the more commonly known marijuana, but unlike its medicinally and recreationally used relative, hemp does not contain any THC- a mind-altering ingredient. 

So, throughout the nation's history, hemp has been used more practically. It's often turned into fibers used in fabrics or rope or pressed into oils, but the plant itself is still considered a schedule one drug, meaning law enforcement treats it just like they would heroin or Ecstasy.

Wikimedia Commons / Andrew Springer

West Virginia environmental regulators are ordering a company to stop mining permanently at a surface coal mine near Kanawha State Forest.

Keystone Industries LLC signed the consent order with the Department of Environmental Protection last month to permanently halt Kanawha County mining operations near Marmet.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

  On 120 acres in Marion, Kentucky, small-scale farmer Joseph Mast is taking an innovative approach to provide for his growing family of nine.

Mast belongs to an Amish community and is reluctant when it comes to media. He makes a concession, however, when the conversation involves sustainable farming.

“I’ll talk grass any day,” said Mast.

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

Fayette County commissioners are appealing a federal court ruling that rendered the West Virginia county's ban on fracking waste disposal invalid.

The Register-Herald in Beckley reports that Appalachian Mountain Advocates filed the notice of appeal on behalf of the commission with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week.

Doctor, medicine
sudok1 / Dollar Photo Club

A two-day free medical clinic for West Virginia flood victims and others in need is being planned this fall in Kanawha County.

Organizers announced the clinic Wednesday at a news conference in Charleston.

Shepherd University

The West Virginia Channel will broadcast an energy symposium this weekend that was part of the inauguration of Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix.

The symposium was held earlier this spring, and it brought together leaders in renewable energy fields to discuss ways a university like Shepherd can strengthen opportunities for West Virginia students to find careers in energy.

Marshall Univeristy Applied Engineering Complex
Bastian & Harris Architects

Marshall University’s year-old Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Complex has been awarded LEED Gold level certification.

The four story engineering complex opened just last fall on Marshall’s Huntington campus. In construction of the facility the university was aiming for LEED Silver Certification, a lesser recognition. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED rating system is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council as the guide for buildings constructed, maintained and operated for environmental performance.

science Lab
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A West Virginia State University chemistry professor is helping to collect science equipment to donate to schools whose labs were damaged in floods earlier this year.

Professor Micheal Fultz tells The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that he has received tens of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment, including microscopes, glassware and drying ovens.

Mykala Cheyanne Phillips

A search team in West Virginia has recovered the body of a teen who had been missing since flooding in June swept her away.

State police Sgt. Drew Pendleton tells news outlets the West Virginia state medical examiner's office identified the body as that of 14-year-old Mykala Phillips. She had been missing and presumed dead since June 23, when a flood swept her away from her family.

Coal Stock Pile

In an unprecedented move, this week the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement issued a Policy Advisory to any states that issue self-bonding permits to coal mining companies.

water faucet

Health officials have lifted the "do not drink" water advisory that had been in place in part of Wood County for nearly three months.

The News and Sentinel reports that Wood County Health Department Director Drema Mace announced the lifting of the advisory on Tuesday at the Vienna Utility Board office.

Mykala Cheyanne Phillips

A search team in West Virginia has recovered a body that a sheriff believes belongs to a teen who's been missing since flooding in June swept here away.

Fourteen-year-old Mykala Phillips has been missing and presumed dead since June 23, when a flood swept her away from her family.

Image: Hu et al, Environmental Science & Technology Letters

A study released this week highlights how 6 million Americans are living with drinking water that’s laced with toxic chemicals. Coupled with that report - another study that shows how those chemicals suppress the immune system - especially among children.

Gas Meter
Loadmaster / wikimedia commons

State officials say they expect lower gas utility bills for two-thirds of West Virginia residents.

A Public Service Commission news release Monday says eight of 12 natural gas utilities in the state have requested to lower the purchased gas part of their rates.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Thousands of West Virginians are still recovering more than six weeks after heavy rains caused historic flooding in southeastern parts of the state. State officials say finding housing is still one of the top priorities, but the need in some communities is changing.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The United Mine Workers of America is holding a series of meetings with coal miners this week to go over details of a new contract agreement.

The UMWA says the meetings concern a tentative agreement with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, which is made up of many Murray Energy coal mine operations.

Kanawha River
Acroterion / wikimedia commons

Volunteers are gathering next month to help clean up the Kanawha River in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release the event is being held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 10. Cleanup sites are still being finalized.