Fayette County

Government
1:30 am
Wed November 19, 2014

State Lawmakers Meet in Fayette Co. to Discuss Revitalizing Southern Coalfields

John David speaks at the second SCORE meeting in Fayette County.
Credit Jessica Lilly

The second meeting of the SCORE task force met in Fayette County Tuesday night.  SCORE, Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy, is an initiative aimed to give southern West Virginia much-needed opportunities to diversify the economy and strengthen communities.

Nothing was off the table as each person that chose to speak had two minutes at the podium.

Other areas of concern brought up by the community included:

  • drug abuse
  • aging population
  • disaster preparedness
  • quality child care
  • clean water

Suggestions from other speakers included:

  • renewable energy tax credits
  • selling water as a natural resource
  • funding water protection plans
  • resisting attempts to weaken environmental law
  • Ensuring the DEP is enforcing the laws


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Local Control
11:25 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

State BOE Updated on Fayette County Intervention

West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin and state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano receive a report during the board's November meeting.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During the West Virginia Board of Education's November meeting Wednesday, Fayette County Superintendent Serena Starcher presented board members with the results of a survey and analysis of the performance of the county's secondary schools.

In October 2013, the state board directed the county to conduct the study specific to Meadow Bridge High School, a school a proposed facilities plan for the county would have consolidated if approved. Starcher said Wednesday, however, the county decided to expand the study to all middle and high schools.

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West Virginia History
10:07 am
Wed October 22, 2014

October 22, 1977: New River Gorge Bridge Dedicated

The Fayette County bridge has become one of West Virginia’s most recognizable landmarks and was featured on the state quarter. Most significantly, though, it reduced the driving time across the gorge, making travel easier and turning the region’s whitewater-rafting business into a multimillion-dollar industry.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

The New River Gorge Bridge was dedicated in Fayette County before a crowd of 30,000 on this day in 1977. Throughout history, transportation across the rugged gorge has been a challenge. Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.

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Transportation Plan
12:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Organization Looking at Ways to Improve Transportation in Fayette & Raleigh Counties

A group is working to create a transportation plan for Raleigh and Fayette Counties. The Metropolitan   Planning Organization, or MPO, is working to identify transportation investments needed to move the region forward.

The MPO office is federally and state funded but it’s made up of local governments, business leaders, and others. The group is responsible for long range transportation planning.

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Public Education
10:37 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Fayette County Regains Partial Control of Schools

W.Va. Board of Education member Tom Campell looks over a proposal at the board's meeting Wednesday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Fayette County is regaining partial control of its school system.

The West Virginia Board of Education unanimously voted to give the county partial control related to school policies. The board held its regular monthly meeting Wednesday and Thursday at Greenbrier East Middle School.

The board took over the school system in 2010 after the Office of Education Performance Audits found serious curriculum and facility problems.

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Protest
4:03 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

W.Va. DHHR Workers to Picket Over Large Caseloads

  West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources employees are picketing outside the agency's Fayette County office to raise awareness over what they call large, unmanageable caseloads.

The employees say they'll participate in an informational picketing on Tuesday afternoon. The West Virginia Public Workers Union says employees are carrying the large, unmanageable because of understaffing.

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Groups Appeal Order
1:05 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

DEP Environmental Quality Board to Hear Concerns About Lochghelly Waste Permit/Site

On Thursday the DEP Environmental Quality Board is expected to hear arguments from Tom Rist and the Rist Law Office is representing the Natural Resource Defense Council, WV Surface Owners’ Rights Organization, Plateau Action Network, and citizen Brad Keenan.

The groups are concerned about the permitting process of an underground injection well as well as the oil and gas waste disposal site in Fayette County.

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Environment
11:22 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Was This Fayette County Waste Pit Leaking?

Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Danny Webb Construction began shutting down above ground pits last month in Fayette County that held oil and gas waste. The waste likely came from horizontal drilling operations.

In a more recent development, the DEP says a tank that was holding some of that waste, leaked during the process, but was cleaned up.

Concerned citizens have been expressing concerns with this particular operation for years.

Environmental groups ran some tests last year and while results have turned up inconclusive, it still raised red flags.


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Lochghelly Injection Well
4:15 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Leak Found at Fayette Frack Waste Site

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

  Updated June 6, 2014

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says the leak occurred in a tank carrying oil and gas waste from the above ground pits and not a pipe.

The DEP says about 20 to 30 gallons spewed for two to three hours through a pinhole in a joint weld.

The DEP says the "failure in the line" was above ground.

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Lochghelly Injection Well
7:45 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Work Underway to Close Fayette Fracking Waste Pit

Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says materials from a pit holding waste of the oil and gas industry, including fracking waste, is being taken to the Raleigh County landfill. The DEP says work is underway to reclaim above ground waste pits months after the state agency ordered it shut down.

The pits were used to remove sediments from the oil and gas waste before injecting underground.

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Lochghelly Injection Well
8:08 am
Fri March 14, 2014

W.Va. DEP Orders Fayette Co. Frack Waste Permit Revoked

Above ground waste pits sit close to the underground injection wells in Fayette County.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has ordered a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County to be revoked.

The DEP renewed the permit for a class two (UIC), or underground injection control disposal well owned by Danny Webb Construction on February 6.

The permit allows the company to accept fluids from oil and gas exploration, development drilling, and production fluids for another five years. 

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Environment
5:09 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Groups Appeal Lochghelly Injection Permit

Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A law office in Fayette County says the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection violated state and federal law.

The Rist Law Office in Fayetteville wants the DEP to reverse a permit for an underground injection well the DEP granted for Danny E. Webb Construction Incorporated. Residents have been concerned about this site in Lochghelly for years.  

According to court documents, the Rist Law Office is representing the Natural Resource Defense Council, the West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization, the Plateau Action Network and citizen Brad Keenan.

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Winter Weather
12:40 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Listen: A West Virginia Superintendent Sings to Announce Closings, Delays

Fayette County Superintendent of Schools Keith Butcher

Winter weather has shut down government offices, shopping malls and, of course, public schools. School was in session for President’s Day in some schools systems in order to make up for snow days.

There’s no doubt that children look forward to the automated calls from school administrators canceling or delaying school days. But some working parents dread those calls since another snow day means another day to find child care or even miss work.

Fayette County Superintendent Keith Butcher is hoping to ease the tension by adding a melody to the message.

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Lochghelly Injection Well
12:13 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Fayette Fracking Waste Permit Granted, National Group Reacts

Above ground waste pond sits close to the underground injection wells in Fayette County.
Credit Jessica Lilly

The Natural Resource Defense Council is disappointed with the state Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to renew a permit for an underground injection well in Fayette County.

The permit allows Danny Webb Construction to accept fluids from oil and gas exploration, development drilling, and production fluids for another five years.

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Underground Injection Well
4:12 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

DEP Orders Fayette County Waste Pit Shutdown, Renews Well Permit

Brown liquid covers the outside of the waste pit on Danny Webb Construction's site. Residents have been concerned the pit is leaking for years.
Credit 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.

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Environment
11:41 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Frackwater Pit at Risk of Leaking

A pit filled with fracking water and other wastes is at risk of leaking.
Credit Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A waste pit in Fayette County does not meet the minimum pit and impoundment standards. The pit is filled with fracking water and other waste from oil and gas drilling. The state Department of Environmental Protection asked Danny Webb Construction to come up with an acceptable plan for the pit.

Community members have been concerned about the waste site for years.

The pit is used to remove sediments from waste before being injected into the nearby underground injection well in Lochgelly. The permit for the well expired in October 2012 and remains in the renewal process.

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