Environmental Protection Agency

Energy & Environment
5:03 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Five Facts About West Virginia's Coal, Energy, and Carbon Emissions

Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiling proposed rules aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 2030, many questions remain about the impact on West Virginia's economy. State officials, union and industry leaders, and environmentalists are all weighing in on the potential impacts of the proposed rules. 

Reducing carbon emissions in West Virginia to meet the EPA's proposed rules will no doubt hinge on the future use of coal, as well as increasing energy use from other sources. 

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Energy & Environment
5:03 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Downstream Strategies President on Proposed EPA Rules: 'This is A Watershed Moment'

Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

  After months of speculation, the Environmental Protection Agency finally released its new proposals on existing coal fire power plants today. The EPA wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions from these facilities by up to 30 percent in the next 15 years. This strategy means these plants will be doing  business differently.


Evan Hansen with Downstream Strategies, an environmental consulting firm in Morgantown  says West Virginia needs to get on board with a plan to cut the pollution from power plants in the state  by 20 percent by the year 2030 using new and developing technology.

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5:02 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The Trust for America's Health Says Yes to EPA's Proposal

Credit healthyamericans.org

The Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization in Washington D.C. working to make disease prevention a national priority, likes the EPA’s new carbon emissions rules.

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Energy & Environment
9:59 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Infographic: The White House's Plan to Fight Climate Change

On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released a plan to cut carbon pollution by 30 percent from coal-fired power plants by the year 2030. The plan comes as a result of executive actions from President Barack Obama to fight climate change. 

EPA Grants
2:06 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

EPA Selects W.Va. for $1M in Brownfields Grants

Credit epa.gov

Federal environmental regulators have picked five West Virginia projects to receive $1 million in brownfields grants.

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West Virginia Morning
10:11 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawmakers Review Bills from Previous Session, Impact of EPA's New Regulations, Documenting Fracking

  Lawmakers decide to take more time to review bills, as they get called in for a special session. The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from coal fired power plants will be released next week, leaving concerns for many in the industry. Also, a couple from Elkins who specialize in oral histories are taking a look at all sides of fracking. 

Energy & Environment
6:18 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

With New Regulations Coming, What's the Future for Coal?

The Environmental Protection Agency wants coal-fired power plants to emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

The Environmental Protection Agency is going to be releasing new rules on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in the next few weeks. It’s an issue of great concern for many who rely on coal for work. But some also see it as an opportunity.

About 84 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions into Earth’s atmosphere are from carbon dioxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and much of that carbon dioxide comes from burning fossil fuels like coal. The EPA is taking action as, under the Clean Air Act, to enforce cuts in carbon emissions for cleaner air.

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Energy & Environment
2:02 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

EPA Seeks Comment on Fracking Chemicals Disclosure

Credit wikimedia

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on ways to disclose information about the chemicals used in the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking.

The EPA says in a Friday release that it is also seeking input on incentives and programs that could help develop safer fracking chemicals.

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New Regulations
4:20 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

W.Va. AG Asks Feds to Delay Power Plant Rules

Credit Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is asking federal officials to delay regulations for existing power plants.  Morrisey says he sent a letter today to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding plans to establish carbon dioxide emission regulations for existing power plants.

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Chemical Spill
7:21 am
Thu May 1, 2014

EPA to Gauge Safety of Inhaling MCHM

Credit AP

  Months after a chemical spilled into 300,000 West Virginians' water source, federal officials want to determine at what level people can safely breathe the chemical's fumes.

Over the next few months, the Environmental Protection Agency will work on detecting crude MCHM in the air and creating a safety standard for inhaling it.

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12:59 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Is the Water Safe Yet?

Lead in text: 
In this piece from The Atlantic, Marin Cogan details how little was (and still is) known about MCHM, the chemical spilled into the Elk River by Freedom Industries on January 9 and affected the drinking water of West Virginians across nine counties. The story also highlights failures in policy--from state and federal agencies--such as the Department of Environmental Protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Robert Thaw was in the woods when he first heard the news. Every Thursday night, the Charleston-based surveyor and his friends take their mountain bikes to the Kanawha State Forest for a long, punishing ride to work off stress and energy from the week.
Climate Change
7:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

'Can Coal Ever Be Clean?' NatGeo Explores Role in Climate Change

Juliette, Georgia Steam and smoke rise from the cooling towers and chimneys of the Robert W. Scherer power plant, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the U.S. It burns 12 million tons of coal a year.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

A feature article in April’s edition of National Geographic Magazine examines what America and other key countries are doing to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

The article comes as new regulations from the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are up for public comment. 

The article assumes that humans are inducing global climate change, an idea that some Republicans as well as the West Virginia Coal Association, still question. 

Wacky Weather

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Energy & Environment
1:12 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Murray Energy Sues EPA, Alleges Law Noncompliance

Credit AllVoices.com

An Ohio-based coal operator is suing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency's administration and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
Murray Energy alleges in its lawsuit that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has failed to comply with the law's requirement to evaluate the potential impact of the agency's regulatory actions on employment.

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The Legislature Today
7:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gov. Tomblin Gives Briefing with CDC and EPA, Water Commission Hears from Health Officials, & More

The House passes a bill known as the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act--but not without fierce debate over an amendment that sought to include "fetus" in the bill's language, The Joint Legislative Oversight Commission on State Water Resources hears from Kanawha-Charleston Health Depart chief Dr. Rahul Gupta and the state Bureau for Public Health's Dr. Letitia Tierney. Also, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin provides an update on the chemical spill and water crisis with officials from the CDC and EPA.

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Chemical Leak
4:42 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Five Things West Virginia Heard Wednesday from CDC, EPA, & Gov. Tomblin

Credit Chuck Roberts / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined Wednesday by state officials as well as officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency to provide an update to the ongoing response to the January 9 chemical spill by Freedom Industries into the Elk River.

Here's what we learned from the briefing:

1. The 1 parts per million threshold for MCHM doesn't declare the water "safe."

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Chemical Leak
12:03 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

AUDIO: Gov. Tomblin, CDC, EPA, & State Officials Provide Update on Chemical Spill and Water Crisis

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Tomblin Wednesday afternoon joined members of the state and federal team involved in efforts following the January 9 chemical spill into the Elk River and water crisis that followed. Tomblin, along with officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state agencies, provided an update on what has been accomplished, the current status of spill response, and the actions the team plans to take moving forward.

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6:11 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

CDC, EPA Officials Coming to Visit W.Va. After Chemical Spill

Credit AP

Officials from the federal agency that helped determine when people could use their water again will be visiting Charleston.
     Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Wednesday will give officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an update on last month's chemical spill. Environmental Protection Agency officials will join them.

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5:53 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Grand Jury Heard W.Va. DEP Workers on Chemical Spill

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin

An official says two state air quality employees have appeared in front of a federal grand jury about the West Virginia chemical spill.
     State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Tom Aluise confirmed Tuesday that they testified several weeks ago in Beckley.

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2:36 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Conference Looking at Environment and Jobs

Alliance for Appalachia seeks to end mountaintop removal and replace those positions with environmentally friendly jobs.
Credit www.mine-engineer.com

An Economic Transition Summit is being held this weekend at Hawks Nest Park in Fayette County. Representatives from throughout Appalachia are meeting to discuss the development of economic opportunities beyond coal.

The meeting is being hosted by The Alliance for Appalachia, a coalition of 15 groups across the region working to end mountaintop removal, while building local economies.

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11:51 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Here’s why Central Appalachia’s coal industry is dying

Lead in text: 
West Virginia and Kentucky have lost 38,000 coal jobs since 1983, as mining has become increasingly automated in recent decades, particularly as companies have shifted to techniques such as mountaintop-removal mining, which are less labor intensive. While many blame President Obama and his Administration's tightening of EPA regulations, this article from The Washington Post attempts to explain the coal industry's decline in Central Appalachia from broader economic and scientific perspectives.
The Central Appalachian region has been the heart of coal country for as long as anyone can remember. But in recent years, Kentucky and West Virginia's coal industries have been facing a painful decline - and that decline is starting to get widespread attention.