West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

Wood County 911

It’s been more than two weeks since an industrial fire began in Parkersburg at a recycled plastics warehouse and burned for more than eight days. It’s still largely unknown what exactly burned that week, which continues to raise concerns for some over how the fire impacted the area's air quality.

Two air quality experts say, after reviewing air monitoring results from a variety of responding agencies, efforts by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection weren’t thorough enough to determine potential threats to public safety.

Wood County 911

Ten days since an industrial fire began in Parkersburg, public officials have yet to be provided an accurate inventory of what was on the property when the fire began. The fire at an old Ames plant -- now a recycled plastics warehouse owned by Intercontinental Export Import, Inc. -- was declared extinguished around noon Sunday.

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia environmental regulators are rescinding approval for building the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

In a letter Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection said it's vacating the water quality certification issued in March, which followed review of the projected impact on the state's waters and public hearings.

Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press file photo

Federal funds are available for economic development projects in the state. The money is meant to help communities left with mining impacts from activity before 1977.

Tire Pile
SuperJew / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is holding several events for residents to dispose of tires this month.

The Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan events will be Wednesday in Summers County; Saturday in Ohio, Boone and Hardy counties; June 15 in Doddridge County; and June 21 in McDowell County. Events were held previously in Upshur and Harrison counties.

Flood, Greenbrier
Steve Helber / AP Photo

Flood-affected communities in southern West Virginia are receiving federal aid to help clean up brownfield sites for future development. 

I-64 Charleston
Million Moments

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is taking registrations from volunteers who want to help clean up the state's highways.

The Adopt-A-Highway Statewide Spring Cleanup is scheduled for April 29. Volunteers have until April 21 to register, and they must be at least 12 years old to participate.

Martin Valent / WV Legislative Photography

  Two dozen West Virginia residents and environmentalists urged state lawmakers to defeat legislation they say would sharply lower the standards for measuring the quality of streams affected by coal mines' toxic sludge and acid drainage.

The bill, passed 32-2 by the Senate, would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to measure waterway health by fish populations instead of insect life.

Ashton Marra

West Virginia's Senate has followed the House and passed legislation to let industrial plants discharge more pollution into West Virginia waterways.

The bill that passed 20-13 would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection to calculate water pollution limits for cancer-causing and other chemicals using an average-flow figure called the "harmonic mean."

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection says a leaking water treatment tank in eastern Kanawha County isn't believed to have affected drinking water and no fish kill was observed.

The agency says the initial investigation indicates the leak reported Monday was caused by two small-caliber bullet holes in the tank, believed to have occurred after Thursday evening.

Alokrohith / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's House is set to vote on legislation that would allow larger pollution discharges into the state's waterways.

The proposal would authorize the Department of Environmental Protection to calculate water pollution limits for cancer-causing chemicals using an average-flow figure — called the "harmonic mean" — rather than the state's current practice of using low-flow water volume to determine allowable discharge amounts.

Commissioner of Agriculture Promotes Hemp

Feb 28, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra talks with newly elected Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt and Glynis Board reports on the new Secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection Austin Caperton who spoke to the Sierra Club last night.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Kanawha River
Acroterion / wikimedia commons

A Kanawha County official is demanding more details about a small spill along the Kanawha River that apparently involved the same primary chemical that caused a water crisis in the area three years ago.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports County Commission President Kent Carper wrote a strongly worded letter Monday to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection regarding a small spill at a coal preparation facility last week.

AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

West Virginia's environmental agency says it won't regulate the noise and light from compressors located along natural gas pipelines.

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports that an engineer in the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Air Quality stated that position in response to concerns raised about some compressor stations outside Wheeling.


Federal officials say the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has failed numerous times to enforce state rules governing the coal-mining industry.

A three-year investigation by the Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining Reclamation Enforcement concluded that the department exhibited a lack of proper water quality monitoring, poor oversight of reclamation standards and inconsistent efforts to ensure mountaintop removal doesn't cause localized flooding.


Edward Maguire II has been appointed environmental advocate for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

DEP Secretary Austin Caperton announced Maguire's appointment Tuesday.

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons

A federal appeals court panel has upheld a ruling that coal operators in West Virginia have to follow legal water pollution limits.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that a state water pollution permit didn't shield Fola Coal Co. from the water quality standards. The panel said West Virginia rules incorporated the standards into the Department of Environmental Protection permit.

Charleston Daily Mail

West Virginia's top environmental official says he's leaving the post to take a full-time job with the Air National Guard.

Randy Huffman has been environmental protection secretary since May 2008, appointed by then-Gov. Joe Manchin after more than three years as deputy secretary and director of the department's Mining Division.

Benchill / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia environmental officials say they awarded $1.8 million to 28 municipal agencies, nonprofits and private industries to boost recycling.

The 2017 grants are funded through the $1 assessment per ton of solid waste disposed at landfills in the state.

The Department of Environmental Protection says $148,000 for the Cabell County Solid Waste Authority will help pay for wages, fuel, maintenance, recycling trailers, balers, other equipment and public outreach.

Alpha Natural Resources

West Virginia regulators have settled a lawsuit brought against Alpha Natural Resources over concerns about the coal producer's reclamation obligations as it emerges from bankruptcy.